Bishop Camillo Ballin - Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia

Bishop Camillo Ballin was born on June 24, 1944, in Fontaniva, Padua, Italy. His parents were Lucia and Angelo Ballin.

He made his first religious profession (Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus) in 1965 and his perpetual profession on September 9, 1968. He was ordained Priest of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus on March 30, 1969 at Castelleto sul Garda, Verona. After his ordination, in 1970, he learned Arabic in Lebanon and Syria. He started his priestly apostolate in the Latin parish of St. Joseph, Zamalek, Cairo in 1971. The following year, he was appointed Parish Priest (1972-1977).

From 1977 to 1980, he was in Lebanon (Kaslik) and Rome (Pontificio Instituto Orientale) for his Licentiate in Oriental liturgy. From 1981 to 1990, he was professor at the Institute of Theology in Cairo and Delegation Superior and Provincial Superior of his religious congregation in Egypt. In 1990, he was assigned to the province of Sudan where he opened a Training Institute for the Formation of Religion Teachers in Schools (1990-1997). From 1997 till 2000, he was in Rome for his doctorate on the Church history of Sudan especially in the Mahdiyyah time (1881-1898 - during that period, 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. Since 2000, he has been Director of the Dar Comboni Center of Arab and Islamic Studies in Cairo, Egypt and Professor of Church History in the Inter-Rite Major Seminary.

On July 14, 2005, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed Monsignor Ballin as (Fourth) Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait and assigned to him the Titular See of Arna. He joined the Vicariate on August 2, 2005. He was consecrated Bishop by His Eminence Crescenzio Cardinal Sepe at the Holy Family Cathedral, Kuwait City on September 2, 2005. On May 31, 2011, His Excellency Bishop Camillo Ballin became the first Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia, comprising the territories of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

He was under treatment for lung cancer and for some months he was in his native country Italy. On 12 April 2020, on the Easter Sunday at 10.00 pm Italian time, he went to the Lord for his eternal rest. May his soul find repose in the Lord!


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