PERSONALITIES: Archbishop Emanuel Gerada

Born in Zejtun in 1920, he was educated at the Lyceum, the Archbishop’s seminary and University. He was ordained priest, by bishop Emmanuel Galea in 1 August 1943 and in 1964, he was awarded a licentiate in theology. He then furthered his studies at Nottingham University College in 1944.

Mgr Gerada obtained his doctorate in canon law from the Gregorian University in 1952 and pursued a course leading to diplomatic service with the Holy See at the Pontificia Accademia Ecclesiastica in Rome.

He was then appointed attaché to the apostolic internunciature in Egypt in 1952 and private chamberlain to the Pope in 1953. He was transferred as secretary to the apostolic internunciature in India, and appointed secretary to the nunciature in Dublin in 1956 – upon the death of the nuncio, he also performed the duties of chargé d’affaires. His next appointments were those of auditor of the nunciature and chargé d’affaires in Tokyo between 1960 and 1964. He was later posted to the apostolic delegation in Mexico.

In 1965 he was appointed counsellor of the nunciature and domestic prelate by Paul VI and in 1966 chargé d’affaires at Kigali, Rwanda.

On 18 June 1967, Mgr Gerada was consecrated titular bishop of Nomentum by Archbishop Mgr Michael Gonzi and appointed as his auxiliary. After a year, he was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Malta.

In 1973 Mgr Gerada resumed his career in the Holy See’s diplomatic service, on his appointment as apostolic nuncio to El Salvador and Guatemala.

Mgr Gerada had been posted as apostolic nuncio in Pakistan in 1980 and in Ireland in 1989.

He retired in Malta in 1995 and died on the 21st January 2011.  He used to live in Triq Sant Anġlu in a house next to the Zejtun Local Council’s office.

Archbishop Gerada had been influential in mediating in the ongoing quarrel between the Church and the Malta Labour Party in the 1960s and for the signing of an agreement which ended the conflict, on Good Friday of 1969.

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