Exactly one year after the sudden death of Sandhurst Catholic Bishop Joseph Angelo Grech, the legacy of the much-loved pastor is still being felt by the Catholic community around Australia.
On 28 December, 2010, Bishop Joe passed away at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne at the age of 62, after complications arose from an existing blood disorder.
The Bishop had just a couple of weeks earlier spoken out on the tragedy of a boat of asylum seekers who had drowned just short of safety on Christmas Island, calling upon all people of good will to reflect deeply on the nation’s treatment of vulnerable people.
Director of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office Fr Maurizio Pettenà CS was with Bishop Joe in the days leading up to his death and attested to the concern that he showed for asylum seekers and refugees to the very end.
“Even in his final lucid moments he was speaking about how we need to do more for migrant chaplains, particularly for overseas priests, those who live in remote places and are isolated”, he said.
Bishop Joe was particularly loved by young people around Australia and remembered for his way of making each individual feel and know that they were loved by God.
He was well-known for using the phrase “God does not make rubbish” often, particularly when preaching to young people.
His funeral on 6 January, 2011 attracted over 4,000 people to Bendigo’s Sacred Heart Cathedral.
For media enquiries please contact Beth Doherty on 0407 081 256. A number of high res photos of Bishop Joe are available by getting in contact.