Caruana, George (24.4.1882-25.3.1951)

Bishop of Puerto Rico

Born in Sliema, Caruana received his education at St Ignatius College, St Julians. He later proceeded to Rome where he pursued his higher studies for the priesthood a e Caponica College and the Gregorian University from where he graduated in theology. He was ordained priest in Malta on 28 October 1905.

Appointed secretary to the apostolic delegate in the Philippines, Mgr. Ambrose Agius, OSB,

Caruana left Malta in 1907. However, after a few months in the apostolic delegation, bc dedicated himself to missionary work, when he laboured among semi-savage pagan tirbes. After three years of missionary work, he left the Philippines for the USA where he settled in Brooklyn. There he served first as assistant priest and later as parish priest.

During World War I, Caruana joined the US Forces as a chaplain and served in the Panama Canal Zone and in Puerto Rico till September 1919.

In 1921 he was appointed secretary to Archbishop Cardinal Dogherty in Philadelphia. In April of the same year, Pope Benedict XV nominated him bishop of Puerto Rico, and he was consecrated bishop in Rome on 28 October 1921. He took up his new diocese in 1922 and, whilst in Puerto Rico in 1925, he was entrusted by the Holy See with a mission to Guatemala.

In December 1925, Pope Pius XI nominated him titular archbishop of Sebasta and apostolic delegate to the Antilles and Mexico, and in 1927 as apostolic internuncio in Haiti. In September 1935 he was appointed apostolic nuncio to Cuba.

Following his retirement from the diplomatic service of the Holy See, he returned to the USA where he died.

Source: Maltese Biographies of the Twentieth Century (1997), editors Michael J. Schiavone and Louis J. Scerri

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