“La Via Del Calvario”, concert of Sacred Music in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza

The Metropolitan Cathedral of St Paul in Mdina was packed to capacity last Saturday, April 13th for “La Via del Calvario”, a concert of Sacred Music for the Holy Week by the Malta Police Force Band under the direction of the Director of Music, Assistant Commissioner Mro Anthony Cassar. Present for the concert, that was in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, were amongst others H.E. The President of Malta, Dott. George Vella, the Minister for Home Affairs and Internal Security, Dr Michael Farrugia, H.G. Mgr Charles J. Scicluna, Archbishop of Malta, the Police Commissioner, Mr Lawrence Cutajar and Fr Martin Micallef, Director of the Siġġiewi Home.

 

The Police Force Band was accompanied by the Amadeus Chamber Choir, the Guest Musicians Ensemble, soprano Ruth Sammut Casingena, tenors Brian Cefai and Charles Vincenti, the organist of the Mdina Cathedral, Dr Chris Rolè, harpist Esmeralda Galea Camilleri, violinist and saxophonist, Mro. David Joseph Sammut together with the Malta Police Pipe Band. No less than one hundred and twenty participants took part in the two-and-a-half hour concert.

 

“La Via Del Calvario” was one of three concerts planned to take place throughout this year to commemorate the 25th Anniversary from the reactivation of the Band in 1994 as well as the 205th Anniversary of the founding of the Police Force in 1814.

Governor of Rotary District 2100 in Calabria and Campania pays visit to Id-Dar tal-Providenza

As part of the Symbolic Peace Walk with the aim of uniting all peoples organised by Rotary District 2100, Calabria and Campania in Italy, District Governor Salvatore Iovieno paid a visit to Id-Dar tal-Providenza.  He was accompanied by his wife, District 2100 officials Rodolfo Inderset and Lucia Cristofero and hosted by Brian Gibbs, Byran Sullivan and Patricia Salamone of Rotary Club La Vallette Malta.

Governor Iovieno had the possibility to see the specialised Music Room which was funded by Rotary International and inaugurated last year together with other facilities.  At the end of the visit Governor Iovieno made a kind donation to Id-Dar tal-Providenza.

Id-Dar tal-Porovidenza mourns two of its ex-employees

This week, Id-Dar tal-Providenza is mourning two of its ex-employees who passed away this week. Valerie Piscopo from Żabbar and Joseph Fenech Castaldi from Ħamrun.

Valerie joined id-Dar tal-Providenza in 1997 and after a short period working in Jasmine Flat she joined the staff of ‘Żerniq’ the first community home in Siġġiewi. Valerie enjoyed playing her guitar during liturgical celebrations during Christmas and Easter.

Joseph started working at the Home in Siġġiewi in 1981. He had various jobs but his last working years were as Storekeeper.

Id-Dar tal-Providenza sends its heartfelt condolences to the families of Valerie and Joseph.

May God give them eternal rest

Homily delivered during funeral mass for Debbie Schembri

Homily delivered by Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, during funeral mass for Debbie Schembri at the chapel of the Addolorata Cemetery

If I’m not mistaken, the first time I met Debbie was when in my second year at the seminary I went to Dar tal-Providenza to volunteer for a day and I met her at the administration office where she used to work at that time. The second time I saw her was during the mass on the granaries in Floriana during Pope John Paul II’s visit to Malta. That day, together with her parents she went up with the ciborium filled with hosts during the offertory. Some years ago, I managed to get a copy of the photos of this unique occasion from the Vatican photo archives and I made a copy that Debbie appreciated so much. Who would have told me that years later I would get to know her from so much closer!

Today, her son, her father, her sister, relatives, colleagues and friends, are all shocked with Debbie’s passing away so suddenly, although lately her health wasn’t as good as it should have been. Life is full of mysteries, full of surprises sometimes good, sometimes bad, difficult as that which we’re going through today. But in the quietness of this difficult moment, the Lord will come amongst us as he did when he appeared to the apostles scared from the Jews, completely lost with the death of this Jesus and he tells them: “Peace be with you”. Have courage my friends you can see that I rose again from the dead. Don’t you remember what I told you when I had the last supper with you: “A little while and you shall not see me and again a little while and you shall see me.” (John 16:16). Here I am amongst you, risen from the dead. When I go to prepare for you a place to stay, I will come back and take you with me so that where I am, you will be too.

Let us during this difficult moment, strengthen our faith in the resurrection from the dead. Jesus told Lazarus’ sister Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes Lord,” she replied, “I believe”. Let us today respond to Jesus with the same Yes Lord, we believe that Debbie, who in our eyes is dead, has today arrived in her last destination with you in heaven for ever. It is this faith in the resurrection that in a difficult moment like this we can feel the Lord drying our tears and changing them into tears of joy and hope.

Apart from this difficult moment being a time when the Lord helps us renew our faith in the resurrection from the dead, it is at the same time an opportune moment to thank the Lord for giving us persons like Debbie that inspire us.

Debbie inspired everyone with her huge determination. The determination to live, to study, to work, to enjoy life, to fight for her rights and those of others, the determination to become a mother. Obstacles in determining her own life she found many, but Debbie was a fighter. She never gave up fighting against the negative attitudes of society, unfortunately still prevalent today, towards persons with disabilities. This verse from the Book of Proverbs cannot describe her better: “Who can find a woman of worth? Far beyond jewels is her value.” (Prov 31,10).

Debbie was a woman who appreciated the commitment of those in her life who were supportive of her so that she could move on. So that we don’t leave anyone out, we mention Dun Mikiel Azzopardi, about whom she always said that he used to believe in her. In one of her speeches she had said: “Dun Mikiel used to believe that we persons with disability deserve all that every human person deserves; it deserves respect and dignity, equal opportunities to have a better quality of life, a voice to be heard and a contribution that persons with disability can give to the good of the society we live in.” Today, Debbie thanks all those in her life who respected her like that, all those who meant a lot to her. The list is rather long. Allow me to mention Sr Victoria who cared for her when she was young.

Today, persons with disability have lost a voice. I urge persons with disability to follow Debbie’s example and be not afraid to make their voice heard, not afraid to fight against discrimination, many times very subtle, that they meet every day. Changes in people’s negative attitudes towards persons with disability will only happen if we do not remain silent, if we create more awareness about the rights of persons with disability and anything that creates obstacles for them to participate fully in society like everyone else.

In scripture, God shows how precious we are in his eyes, We are all created in his image and likeness, (Gen 1,27). We are equal in his eyes. Debbie was precious in God’s eyes like every person conceived in the womb. As we read in the First Book of Samuel, Chapter 16 verse 7 God does not consider our appearances or our height… The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Thank you Lord for Debbie, for all that you taught us through her, receive her now in your loving arms in heaven.

Debbie, may you rest in peace.

Mass on the occasion of World Down Syndrome Day

On Thursday, 21st March, on the occasion of World Syndrome Day. The Malta Down Syndrome Association held a Mass for its members and friends at the Dar tal-Providenza chapel in Siġġiewi. Also present were the Parliamentary Secretary for the Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing, Mr. Anthony Agius Decelis as well as the President of the Association, Mrs Joeanne Xerri.

 

Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, celebrated Mass. In his homily he stressed that we all have to be part of a society that looks at the difference not as a threat but as a treasure. A society that doesn’t look at the person with disability with the medical model in that it sees the person with disability as a problem but with the social model, in which society accepts that it creates the disability problem when it does not adapt to the needs, expectations and aspirations of these persons.

 

The Malta Down Syndrome Association offers support to parents of children who are born with this condition and works for more awareness so that persons with this intellectual condition can achieve their potential.

150 kilometer walk around Malta in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza

€1,725 were raised during the weekend from a 150 kilometer walk around Malta organised by Trail Makers in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza. The walk started at 7.00am Saturday morning in the car park of the Siġġiewi Home and ended at the same place on Sunday around 5.00pm. In the last part of the Challenge the trekkers were joined by residents in what was described by the organisers as the highlight of the event.

 

The participants trekked around the island’s coast from Siġġiewi to the North of Malta proceeding down to the South and back to the parking lot of Id-Dar tal-Providenza around 34 hours later.

More than €3,000 raised in Bike Ride in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza

€3,501.57 were raised during a Bike Ride in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza that took place on Tuesday 19th March 2019 on the initiative of the Hon. Rosianne Cutajar and her team with the support of the Hon. Ryan Callus.

The two Parliamentarians togther with around three hundred bikers gathered in the early morning blessed with beautiful weather in Wied is-Sewda in Qormi to start their ride around Malta. The ride ended in the Dar tal-Providenza car park in Siġġiewi where the bikers where given a warm welcome by the residents and employees of the Home. The activity continued with a motor bike stunt show and various prizes were awarded.

The Hon. Rosianne Cutahjar said that this activity shows that when there is unity the success is much bigger. She said she was satisfied with the attendance for this first edition of the Providenza Bike Ride and emphasised her strong desire that this becomes an annual event in the Maltese calendar.

The Hon. Ryan Callus said he accepted to be part of this activity because as he said “we do away with the differences between us for the good of the community.”

Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, expressed the same sentiments and showed his appreciation for the effort and commitment shown by all for the success of this activity.

Group of Virginia College students at Id-Dar tal-Providenza

Group of Virginia College students at id-Dar tal-Providenza

 

Medseas Catholic Journeys brought to Malta a group of college students from Virginia in the United States led by Prof. Mike Brown, Head of Mission projects at Christendon College, a Catholic college in Front Royal VA. Whilst they were here they spent some time at Id-Dar tal-Providenza where they helped out with the clean up after the bad storm that hit Malta between the 22nd and 24th of February.

 

Prof. Brown wanted to show his appreciation and gratitude and that of the group that were able to help especially in a place like Id-Dar tal-Providenza and they will be taking back with them to Virginia pleasant and memorable experiences of Malta and the Siġġiewi Home. Fr Joseph Mary Brown of the Congregation of St John was the group’s Spiritual Director.

 

Medseas promote unique Catholic Journeys of Faith, Culture and History such as this Malta trip as well as to Santiago de Compostela in Portugal.

Minister Carmelo Abela presents reliquary of Papa Luciani

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Carmelo Abela presented a reliquary of Pope John Paul I, also known as Pope Luciani, to Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza. One of the three villas forming the Siġġiewi Home is named after Papa Luciani, the Pope of the ever present smile.

The reliquary is a small piece of drapery that was part of his trousers and it was made possible with the intervention of Mr Frank Zammit, Maltese Ambassador to the Holy See.

Dr Abela praised the work that the workers and volunteers do day-in-day-out at id-Dar tal-Providenza because with their work they are expressing the meaning of true, neighbourly love. Minister Abela also had the opportunity to meet some of the residents.

Villa Papa Luciani was inaugurated on the 8th of September 1987.

150km NON-STOP around Malta Challenge in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza

Trail Makers are organising a trek challenge in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza. The NON-STOP around Malta Challenge will be a coastal trek covering 150km starting on Saturday 23rd March at 7am from the parking lot of the Home in Siġġiewi, and will finish on Sunday 24th March at around 5pm.

Details about this activity was given during a press conference. Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, said that during the year various organisations and entities organise fund-raising activities in aid of the Siġġiewi Home and one of them is this 150 kilometer coastal trek around Malta. He thanked Trail Makers, the organisers, and encouraged people to take part in the walk even in parts of it and make their donation to the Home. Giovanni Camilleri and Dennis Borg of Trail Makers gave relevant details on the route, registration method and ways of making a donation.

One can participate either for the full 150km challenge or even join at any point and walk as much as one would like. Those who complete 20km or more will be given a bronze-like commemorative medal, and those finishing the 150km walk will be given a silver-like commemorative medal.

To register, kindly find Trail Makers on Facebook and fill in the form.

To donate your contribution to Id-Dar tal-Providenza, kindly follow this link.

Registrations close on Sunday 17th March 2019.

Join the walk at any of the following points:

Saturday 23rd March 2019

7:00 – 8:30
Id-Dar tal-Providenza to Dingli (8km)

8:30 – 12:00
Dingli to Golden Bay – Lunch Break (15km)