Id-Dar tal-Providenza salutes the memory of Sr Annunziata Cortis

Id-Dar tal-Providenza warmly remembers Sr Annunziata Cortis, from the Sisters of Charity of St Jeanne Antide Thouret who has joined the Lord at the venerable age of 105. Sr Annunuziata served at Id-Dar tal-Providenza between 1970 and 1971 and again in 1982. During that time she was also the Superior of the community of nuns residents at Id-Dar tal-Providenza.


Sr Anunziata was born in Rabat, Malta in 1913. She was christened as ‘Pawla’. During those times Europe was passing through difficult times because the first world war (1914-1918) was looming on the horizon. Apart from that, Malta was a British colony and it couldn’t be spared the effects of war.
Sr Annunziata’s parents managed to give their daughter a profound christian and human formation. At a tender age she felt the call for a religious life and after moments of prayer and advice from those who knew her well and could give her guidance, she left everything that was dear to her behind her and at the age of sixteen entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Charity in Tarxien.

Sr Annunziata was a humble person, always ready to learn. After her novitiate she was sent to the Central Hospital in Floriana and at that stage her superiors realised right away that she had the necessary qualities to become a Sister of Charity. One needs to keep in mind that during those days the hospitals did not have the facilities available nowadays and that the personnel were not as qualified as today and so work was more difficult and harder than today.

In 1965, the Sisters of Charity were asked to give their services in a Tripoli hospital and Sr Annunziata went there for two years and there she was quite happy because for her tending the sick was a tangible way to show love and caring with those in need. The two-year period in Tripoli was extended for a lot longer and in 1978 she was resposible for the community of Sisters there. During her long life, she was practically in every care home we have in Malta, ‘Saura’, ‘St Vincent de Paul hospital’, ‘Id-Dar tal-Providenza’, Tarxien ……. Where there was a need she used to go wholeheartedly because in the sick she saw the suffering Christ.

Besides tending the sick, in 1970 she became Provincial Counsellor and during those whole five years she served gladly and with lots of love. Sr Annunziata was a capable woman and very good hearted and, her age notwithstanding, she was always ready to help and give her all wherever she was needed.

She was also a very spiritual woman. Everyone refers to her calmness and prudence, to her keeping to herself what needn’t be said, her being very quick in forgiving those who slighted her, her understanding of others and of accepting their lack of morals and spirituality. She had a jovial character always ready to help and fraternise with others.

Sr Annunziata’s life was interlaced with acts of love as witnessed by all the Sisters that lived with her. Sr Annunziata had this force within her because first of all she was a woman of prayer and intimity with the Lord. She wouldn’t exchange her prayer time with any other activity if not necessarily required.

During the last few years, she lived at the Balzan home of the Sisters of Charity were they spend their time of merited rest after decades of service to charity.

Id-Dar tal-Providenza organises a specialised Course in Hydrokinetic Therapy

Between the 4th and 7th of October, Id-Dar tal-Providenza with the collaboration of the Malta Association of Physiotherapists, organised a specialised Course in Hydrokinetic Therapy. The course, which was led by Dott.ssa Maria Cristina Gualtieri, a physiotherapist who specialises in Hyrdrokinetic Therapy, assisted by Omor Milanesi, was based on four modules which included: Hydrokinetic therapy as a means of rehabilition in Orthopaedic, Soft Tissue Injuries and Neurological cases in children and adults. Each module included theoretical and practical sessions with actual clients in the Aquatherapy Pool at Id-Dar tal-Providenza.

The scope of the course was for physiotherapists taking part to get to know how this rehabilitating method can make full use of its therapeutic potential.

Fifteen physiotherapists, three of them Dar tal-Providenza employees, took part in the course. They participated with great interest and interactivity.

This was the second time that Id-Dar tal-Providenza organised this course. At the end of the course, Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, distributed certificates of participation to the physiotherapists who attended.

Bike Ride in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza

On Friday, 28th September, the Armed Forces of Malta, with the cooperation of the Malta Police Force and Civil Protection, organised a bike ride in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza. The bikers gathered at the Luqa Barracks at 6.00pm where the bikes were blessed by the Armed Forces Chaplain, Fr Joe Meli and Malta Police Chaplain, Fr Ray Bonnici OFM Cap. Colonel Brian Gatt addressed the participants and thanked them for taking part in this initiative. After an hour’s bike ride and arrival at id-Dar tal-Providenza, the Armed Forces organized a pasta night for the riders, their families and friends.

Archbishop Emeritus Mgr Paul Cremona leads annual pilgrimage to Lourdes

Archbishop Emeritus Mgr Paul Cremona led the annual pilgrimage in Lourdes from August 30th until September 4th 2018. A group of one hundred and ninety-two Maltese pilgrims attended this pilgrimage organized by the Assoċjazzjoni Voluntarji Lourdes (AVL).
This year’s pilgrims included patients, volunteers including youths, doctors, nurses, carers and priests among others. Each patient had one or two helpers assigned, depending on the case. Among them were nurses and doctors from the Renal Unit at Mater Dei Hospital who saw that these patients had their dialysis treatment while staying in Lourdes.
The group attended the Aux Flambeaux procession, the Via Sagra and an international mass which was celebrated on Sunday besides mass in Maltese at the grotto. Mgr Cremona said the blessing at the end of Aux Flambeux.
Each year, the Association assists sick persons to travel from Malta to visit the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Lourdes at the Grotto, where she appeared for the first time to Bernadette Soubirous on the 11th February 1858.
The Association promotes universal devotion towards Our Lady, organises and co-ordinates pilgrimages for the sick to Lourdes. It brings together dedicated persons inspired by charity to voluntarily assist the sick throughout such pilgrimages.
Those who would like to join the Association for their annual pilgrimage to Lourdes next year, can follow its Facebook page Assoċjazzjoni Voluntarji Lourdes – AVL. This year’s pilgrimage wouldn’t have been a success if it wasn’t for the expert advice and financial support given by Air Malta and Malta International Airport.

St Paul Chamber Ensemble raises €1,000 towards Id-Dar tal-Providenza

The St. Paul Chamber Ensemble presented a donation of €1,000 to Id-Dar tal-Providenza, after its successful rendition of ‘Messa da Requiem’ held last March, and the concerts held by the Hässelby Motet Choir from Sweden in May.

When presented with the cheque, Fr Martin Micallef, Director of the Home, thanked the organisers, committee and sponsors who organised these concerts.

The companies that donated for these two events were: Garden of Eden Garage, GasanMamo Insurance, Pillow Spaceframe, Gozo Concrete Products Ltd., Dallas Furniture, Lighting & Interiors, Resin & Membrane Centre and Jade Sofas.

€5,000 raised for Id-Dar tal-Providenza

A total of €5,000 was raised during an annual BBQ organised by the friends of Pierre Vella Petroni and Anne Marie Xuereb in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza. The event is now in its sixth year.

When presented with the cheque, Fr Martin Micallef, Director of the Home, thanked the organisers, helpers, sponsors and all friends and relatives who attended. He said that the daily running expenses of the Home are €13,000 and donations like this help in no small way.

The companies that donated money or goods for the event were Pavi/Pama; Valyou Superstore of Naxxar; Prime Limited; Big Fresh of Mosta; The General Soft Drinks Co. Ltd.; Simonds Farsons Cisk; C. Camilleri & Sons; Zamco; Tree Cake Confectionery of Mosta; Vascas; Studio 9; Cleland & Souchet; Joseph Casapinta, artist; BOV and BNF Bank.

Residents of Id-Dar tal-Providenza at the “Festa Għeneb” in Siġġiewi

A group of Dar tal-Providenza residents took part in the “Festa Għeneb” organised by the Siġġiewi Local Council in the main square of the village on Sunday, 26th August 2018. They set up a stand where they could exhibit and sell food products that they themselves prepare at the St Isidore Agriculture Centre. Friends of Id-Dar tal-Providenza also set up another stand selling drinks with the profits going towards the Home.

‘Festa Għeneb’ is a cultural activity to foster awareness of grapes and its ties with the village. Siġġiewi is the locality with the largest concentration of vineyards with hundreds of families involved in the processing of grapes.

‘Festa Għeneb’, which is in its seventh year, is held with the collaboration of Id-Dar tal-Providenza and VitiMalta with the participation of various organisations based in Siġġiewi. The activity is in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza and the funds raised will be presented on New Year’s Day during the Feast of Generosity that is broadcast live on Malta’s main TV stations.

Donation by the Maltese-American Community in the San Francisco Bay, California

On behalf of the Maltese American Community in the San Francisco Bay area, the Maltese Cross Foundation of California presented its annual donation to Id-Dar tal-Providenza.
The presentation was made to Fr Martin Micallef, Director of the Homes by Ms Mary Vella Gomes, secretary of the Maltese American Social Club of San Francesco. Also present for the presentation was Ms Theresa Vella.
Special thanks goes to Mr Louis Vella, President of the Maltese Cross Foundation of California who is also Honorary Consul of Malta in San Francisco.

John L. Peel – An Appreciation

Throughout my whole life and to this very day, the Lord gave me the grace to meet and also work with a lot of people who were and still are a great inspiration to me. One of these persons is John L. Peel whom the Lord has recently called to His side.

John was an exemplary man who, in his own simplicity, lived his life of faith. Surely he was not perfect but saints are also those who live the Gospel in the simplicity of their daily lives.

John was also a family man. He dedicated all his time and energy to his family and lived his marriage call with a great love. John loved unconditionally. He lived for his family. He dearly loved his wife Antoinette, loved his daughter Christine and dedicated his life to her 24 hours a day whilst at the same time giving the same love and attention to his son John, his wife Angela and his grandchildren Stephanie Anne and John Mark. We can safely say his life was a hymn of love. But this hymn of love was not only dedicated to his family but also to a lot of other persons with whom he met. John was a man who was prepared to forget about himself so that he could think of others. His generosity and dedication were limitless and this was manifested in his wide network of voluntary work done in quiet. You could always find him ready to help.

We can also safely say that he was one of the veterans who worked incessantly in the sector for persons with disability in Malta. His work in this field started with the birth of his dear daughter Christine. From that day onwards he never looked back and remained active and interested till the end in everything that was related to this sector. For a whole eighteen years he was the Chairman of the Down Syndrome Association during which time he was also its representative on the Maltese Federation of Organisations for Persons with Disability (MFOPD). For some time he was also the President of the same Federation. John represented the Down Syndrome Association various times in International Fora and represented the Federation on committees within the National Commission for Persons with Disabilty (now known as the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability). John was the Honorary President of the Down Syndrome Association. For various years, John was also a committee member of the National Organisation for Parents with Disability. Apart from all this, until a few days ago John was a volunteer at id-Dar tal-Providenza. And as if this was not enough we cannot not mention his voluntary involvement in the Royal British Legion and the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) where he helped in a special way, families of ex-servicemen to get the pensions and other monies owed to them.

Pope Francis says that love is not just talk, but deeds and service; humble service done in quiet and without publicity, as Jesus himself said: “your left hand must not know what your right is doing” (Mt 6:3). That’s what John was like and that’s why he remains an inspiration to me.

Fr Martin Micallef
Director, Dar tal-Providenza

Two Dar tal-Providenza residents go paragliding

Christine Borg and Tonio Mercieca finally got their wish and ventured into paragliding aftar last year’s attempt to fly high over the seas of Golden Bay in Għajn Tuffieħa had to be abandoned because of strong winds. At around ten o’clock of Saturday, 21 July 2018, Christine and Tonio were at the Amazonia Complex of the Dolmen Hotel in front of the Oracle Casino to start their preparations for their adventure which were slightly complicated by the winds. But nothing would stop our two residents, both wheelchair users, from realising their dream to get hitched to a parachute and paraglide over the blue but slightly choppy seas of Qawra.

Right after her experience, Christine said “she was very happy because up there you feel free from everything, no wheelchair and no strapping. It was a wonderful experience and given the opportunity, I will do it again.”

On his part, Tonio said that the experience of feeling cut off from the ground was astounding. “Instead of looking around and saying I wish to do it, I now succeeded in doing it and for me it’s a boost for my life and my future. With the deserved support, everything is possible.”

Christine and Tonio would like to thank all those who made their dream come true, especially their support worker Anna Marshall and Andrew Micallef of Sun & Fun Watersports.