Rrok Mirdita, Roman Catholic prelate, Died at 76

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Rrok Kola Mirdita was born on September 28, 1939, and died on December 7, 2015.

He was the Catholic Archbishop of Durrës-Tirana, and the Primate of Albania.

Rrok was ordained a priest on July 2, 1965, aged 25, and served in ethnic Albanian parishes in Bronx and Westchester counties of New York.

On December 25, 1992, aged 53, Rrok was appointed the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tiranë-Durrës and consecrated on April 25, 1993, by Pope John Paul II and Cardinals Camillo Ruini and Jozef Tomko, along with three other bishops (Zef Simoni, Frano Illia and Robert Ashta) during the Pope’s pastoral visit to Albania.

Rrok was the President of Albanian Bishops Conference and the Chairman of Caritas Albania.

On his initiative St. Paul’s Cathedral was built-in Tirana.

Its triangular architecture, according to the Archbishop’s idea, symbolizes the cohabitation of Islam, Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism in Albania.

The first Holy Mass in the new cathedral was celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, and Archbishop Mirdita on January 27, 2002.

The Archbishop’s house was built next to the Orthodox cathedral and at Christmas 1999, Mirdita and the Orthodox Archbishop Anastasios (Anastas) greeted parishioners together.

Rrok Mirdita is an Honorary Citizen of Tirana, Albania.

Rrok passed away at the Mother Teresa Hospital in Tirana on December 7, 2015.

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