A record sum of €1,365,556 was raised during the New Year’s day Feast of Generosity organised by Id-Dar tal-Providenza. Helped by the nice weather a huge number of people made it to Siġġiewi to make donations under the big tent erected in the parking lot. Many others phoned in to make their donation. As has now been the custom, various parishes in Malta and Gozo made special collections during church celebrations that were donated to the Home on behalf of the community.
The Director, Fr Martin Micallef, said that this year’s edition of the Feast of Generosity has once again shown the solidarity with and generosity of the Maltese people towards Id-Dar tal-Providenza. He said these funds will enable the Home to continue to provide a better quality of life for its residents at the Siġġiewi Home as well as at the homes in the community.
The first official visitor was Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna who also celebrated Mass in the Home’s chapel which was attended by the Parliamentary Secretary for the Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing, Anthony Agius Decelis. In his homily the Archbishop said: “Let us let God look at us because that way our own way of looking at each other will be God’s look coming from the heart. How nice it is that Maltese and Gozitans alike start the new year helping each other with acts of solidarity even in their own circles. There are various forms of poverty besides financial and one of them is solitude where a person feels lonely and abandoned by society.” Archbishop Scicluna appealed to the Maltese public to support the growing number of homes that Id-Dar tal-Providenza has in various localities so that persons with special needs can still be able to live in the heart of the community.
Other visits during the day were made by the President of Malta, Dr George Vella and Mrs Vella, the Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat and Mrs Muscat and Auxiliary Bishop Mgr Joseph Galea-Curmi. Also attending were Ministers and Members of Parliament from both sides of the House, delegations representing the main poplitical parties and representatives of constituted bodies and they also took time to answer the phones.
On the occasion of the year when the Church will be commemorating the hundred anniversary of the birth of St. John Paul II on May 18th 1920, during the day in the chapel there was a relic for the veneration by the public with a piece of gauze with the Saint’s blood of when he was shot in St Peter’s Square by Mehmet Ali Ağca on May 13th, 1981. This relic was donated to the Home by Sr Maria Bambina Bugeja, a Maltese nun that assisted the Pope when he was recovering at the Policlinico Gemelli.
There was also a huge number of visitors to see view the hundred or so works of arts kindly donated by Maltese and foreign artists and exhibited in the St. Paul Hall. The auction of these works of art will this yeaer be taking place in April at a date still to be announced. Last year’s auction raised a total of €29,487.
The live television broadcast started at 9.00am with Holy Mass and continued till just after midnight when the total sum collected during the day was announced. TVM2, ONE TV and NET TV took part for long stretches of the 15-hour televised marathon. This included entertainment provided by the top singers and musicians on the island that managed to create a festive family atmosphere under the big tent.
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