Today, I heard the sad news of the death of Bishop Camillo Ballin at the age of 76 in Rome. Bishop Ballin was born on 24 June, 1944 in Fontana, Italy. Lucia and Angelo Ballin were his parents. He made his first religious profession in 1965 as Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus, after that joined his perpetual profession on September 9, 1968. He became Priest of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus in 1969 at Castelletto Sul Garda Verona.
Appointments Before 2000 AD
Following his ordination, Bishop Camillo Ballin learned Arabic in Lebanon and Syria. Whereas. he started his priestly apostolate in the Latin parish of St. Joseph, Zamalek, Cairo in 1971. He remained Parish Priest from 1972 to 1977 then he went to Lebanon and Rome for his Licentiate in Oriental liturgy, from 1977 to 1980.
After that, he became a professor at the Institute of Theology in Cairo and Delegation Superior and Provincial Superior of his religious congregation in Egypt. In 1990, he opened a Training Institute for the Formation of Religion Teachers in Schools in Sudan and live there till 1997.
He got his doctorate degree (1997-2000) in the subject of Church history of Sudan especially in the Mahdiyyah time (1881-1898 – during that period, the practice of any other religion, except the Mahdist Islam, was strictly forbidden) His research was on how Christians and Jews lived in those years of persecution.
He wrote two well know books in Arabic, in 2004, that is “The Ways of the Spirit” and “History of the Church”. Finally, He was appointed Monsignor Ballin as (Fourth) Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait on 14 July, 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI and assigned to him the Titular See of Arna. On 2 August, 2005, he joined the Vicariate.
Speech at 50 Years Service to God
Speaking on marking the 50th anniversary of his ordination, Bishop Ballin expressed his gratitude to the Almighty, “It is because of the mercy of God I can celebrate 50 years of service to God. Throughout my life, I have tried to follow God, to be a messenger of the love of God, and to oversee the ministry according to his will.
I have dedicated my life to making others happy. Through this journey, I have learned many things. There are many different kinds of people; the good, bad and weak. You have to encourage and support them. You have to be the sign of the love of God for all, said the bishop.