Father Francesco Patton, ofm: New Custos for the Holy Land
ROME / JERUSALEM – The appointment of Father Francesco Patton, ofm as Custos of the Holy Land was announced on Friday, May 20, 2016, according to a Decree of the Holy See.
Father Francesco Patton, ofm, replaces Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, ofm who has been Custos of the Holy Land since 2004.
According to a Decree of the Holy See, announced on Friday, May 20, 2016, Father Francesco Patton, ofm was appointed Custos of the Holy Land. Father Francesco Patton, ofm, succeeds Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa,ofm who was Custos of the Holy Land since 2004.
This morning, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem sent a letter to Father Francesco Patton, the new Custos, expressing best wishes on behalf of all the Clergy, and assured him of “the full cooperation of the Latin Patriarchate” in the exercise of his new mandate and mission.
The Custos of the Holy Land is the provincial minister (the major superior) of the Franciscans in almost all of the Middle East with jurisdiction over the territories of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt (partial), Cyprus and Rhodes. The Custos is a member of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land.
The main mission of the Custos, in addition to his greater responsibility of Guardian to the Brothers, is to coordinate and direct the reception of pilgrims visiting the Holy Land, and with the local Church, uphold the “living stones” of the region: the local Christians. This is a responsibility entrusted to them by the Holy See for more than 600 years.
Fr. Francesco Patton was born in Vigo Meano in the diocese of Trent on December 23rd, 1963. He belongs to the Franciscan Province of St. Anthony in Italy. He is fluent in English and Spanish, besides his native Italian.
He made his first religious profession on September 7th 1983 and his solemn profession on October 4th, 1986; then was ordained to the ministerial priesthood on May 26th, 1989. In 1993 he earned a Licentiate in Communication Sciences at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome.
He served in various capacities in his province and also within the Order. He was twice Secretary General of the General Chapters in 2003 and 2009; Visitator General in 2003, Minister Provincial of St. Vigilium (Trent, Italy) from 2008 to 2016; President of the Conference of Provincial Ministers of Italy and Albania (COMPI)
He also served in many capacities outside of the Order: as member of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council and secretary of the Diocesan Pastoral Council of the archdiocese of Trent; professor of Social Communications at the Studio Teologico Accademico Tridentino; collaborator of the Diocesan Weekly, the Diocesan Radio and Telepace Trento; and enrolled with the journalists of Trentino-Alto Adige as publicist since 1991.