Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa has been reappointed for a further three-year term as Custos of the Holy Land. The news was announced this morning by the General Visitor of the Custody of the Holy Land fra Renato Beretta, who in his letter sent to all the religious of the Custody of the Holy Land wrote: “The Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, fra Michael Perry, has communicated to me that, after having obtained the approval of the Holy See, the Definitor General has chosen Pierbattista Pizzaballa ofm as Custos of the Holy Land for the next three years”.
Born on 21 April 1965 in the Italian municipality of Cologno al Serio, in the diocese and province of Bergamo, he began his training with the friars of the Franciscan Province of Emilia Romagna, to which he still legally belongs. He was ordained a priest on 15 September 1990 and entered the service of the Custody of the Holy Land in 1999. Upon completion of philosophical and theological studies, on 19 June 1990 he received a bachelor’s degree in Theology from the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome.
He completed further studies at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, receiving his licenza in Biblical Theology on 21 June 1993, and subsequently obtained a Master’s degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He served as professor of Modern Hebrew at the Franciscan Faculty of Biblical Sciences and Archaeology in Jerusalem and carried out pastoral work with the Hebrew-speaking faithful for the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
ATS joins with the Custody of the Holy Land in extending its best wishes to Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, president of the Association, for the successful continuation of his mission as head of the Province of the Holy Land.