Monsignor John Pardo is the new Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese on the Rock. He was installed on Sunday during the 10.30 Mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned presided by the Bishop of Gibraltar Carmel Zammit.
Monsignor Pardo made a canonical Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity to the Diocese during the service.
The Bishop once again told the congregation how on his appointment as Bishop his intention had always been to appoint a Vicar General “for the good of the Church in Gibraltar”.
Bishop Carmel said he was conscious of Monsignor Pardo’s “spiritual and intellectual qualities and of the prudence and wisdom” he had shown in his priestly ministry.
Monsignor Pardo finds himself back in Gibraltar after 14 years and after having been the Rector of the Royal and Pontifical English College of St. Alban in Valladolid in Spain since 2011. He was also its Vice-Rector from 2003 to 2011.
Glad to be back home after all this time, the Monsignor told the Chronicle, “it was time to come back.”
“When you are asked to do these things outside the diocese you leave your home, family and friends, so it is great that I was able to do what I was asked to do and now it is time for another chapter in my life,” he said.
His new role is to assist the Bishop of Gibraltar. Essentially the role is that of a deputy and to help the Bishop “as a sounding board, to develop policies, and to support him”.
Talking about his challenges ahead, he said, the Church locally needed to “do a lot of work in renewing the system administratively, encourage vocations, family values, all the issues which are common to the mission of the Diocese and within this to improve on everything that is already in place and to build on what there is already and what has been done before”.
He said he saw his role very much along the lines as when he was first a priest here in Gibraltar.
“My role is to be at the service of the people,” he added.
Monsignor Pardo was ordained a priest in Gibraltar in 1995 by Bishop Bernard Devlin.
After Ordination, he was assigned to the Sacred Heart Parish Church as a curate. He was also appointed Chaplain to St. Bernard’s Hospital, St. Bernard’s First School and was appointed as Defender of the Bond to the diocesan Tribunal headed then by Mgr. Zammit.
He completed his postgraduate studies in Canon Law, obtaining a Doctorate in 1998 from the pontifical Gregorian University. He was then appointed Chancellor and Judicial Vicar by Bishop Caruana.
Over the years, he was assigned to various pastoral appointments in the Diocese, including as a curate at the Cathedral and afterwards at St. Paul’s Parish under Father George McGrail.