His Excellency Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, died July 27 from complications of lung surgery performed two weeks earlier. The 73-year-old Italian archbishop was Chancellor of Bethlehem University from 1998-2005, while he served as Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Palestine. In December 2005, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Ambassador of the Vatican to the U.S.
“I was distraught when I learned of Archbishop Sambi’s illness and grieved to know that we have lost this outstanding figure of strength and devotion to God,” said Vice Chancellor Brother Peter Bray, FSC. “He was a great lover and supporter of Bethlehem University and his efforts on behalf of Bethlehem University and the Palestinian people will not be forgotten. I offer my sincerest condolences to the family, friends, and associates of Archbishop Sambi.”
A funeral service will be held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, August 6th at 2:00 p.m. On September 14th, a memorial Mass will be celebrated at the National Shrine. Bethlehem University is also planning a memorial Mass. Let us pray for Archbishop Sambi’s eternal rest.