Statement by Parliamentary Secretariat for Rights for Persons with Disability and Active Ageing
The Parliamentary Secretariat for Rights for Persons with Disability and Active Ageing receives with satisfaction the good news that Archbishop Scicluna is to open the beatification process of the never forgotten, Mgr. Mikiel Azzopardi. On behalf of the Government of Malta, the Parliamentary Secretary, Dr Justyne Caruana welcomes this step that continues to recognize the generous life of Dun Mikiel who will be remembered by all generations as the friend of all.
Dun Mikiel’s life achievement, the setting up of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, will remain a living monument to his memory as well as to the generosity of the Maltese people and those that contribute to the lives of persons with disability. He introduced a concept of unique value towards total respect and dignity of persons with disability at a time when Maltese and Gozitans were not conscious enough of this reality and least of all to accept that these persons deserved full equal dignity. The news by Archbishop Scicluna also means an appreciation of all those who during the years were inspired by Dun Mikiel’s example.
Mgr. Azzopardi was not only a living example of his priestly mission in the most genuine form, but he was also a pioneer in highlighting to our people those in our society who were conditioned by some sort of disability. Fifty years ago, on September 12th 1965, Dun Mikiel announced that he was setting up a home for those who because of their disability were unable to continue living with their natural family. That ardent dream of his, continued to mushroom during the years into four residences that could offer more room and more professional attention and care.
The Government is determined to celebrate with facts all that Mgr. Azzopardi believed in and achieved. He will remain a continuous inspiration in all that is done. His dream was not only that persons with disability would have a better life but that they will also contribute to society. This is exactly what the Government is doing, not only through specific agreements with educational and social entities and projects around Malta and Gozo, but also through the outright enforcement of all laws enacted during the years to ensure equality amongst all citizens.
The start of the beatification process of Mgr. Mikiel Azzopardi continues to foster more determined activity in this sector. The Secretariat augurs that the process that is about to start will progress rapidly so that as can soon celebrate the exemplary life of Mgr. Mikiel Azzopardi.