Commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Mgr Mikiel Azzopardi, the founder of “the oasis of Christian charity”

Catholic Action members, residents and friends of Id-Dar tal-Providenza attended a Eucharistic Celebration at the Home’s chapel to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Mons Mikiel Azzopardi. Dun Mikiel, as he was popularly referred to, was born in Valletta on February 10th, 1910 and died on May 13th, 1987. This Catholic Action initiative started eight years ago and has since become an annual event.

In a short message from Prague, where Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, is taking part in a European meeting on the pastoral work with deaf persons, appealed for more prayers so that the Lord would continue to bless the work being done at the Home as well as for the beatification and canonisation process of Mgr Azzopardi so that we might finally have the miracle to confirm the holiness of this priest, a huge benefactor of the Maltese society. Fr Martin said that Malta and Gozo are forever grateful towards the Malta Catholic Action that created what Dun Mikiel used to love to refer to as the oasis of Christian charity.

The eucharistic celebration was led by Fr Reuben Gauci, Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Catholic Action Youth Movement ŻAK. In his homily, Fr Reuben referred to Dun Mikiel as the one who used to look at each and every person with great love when he was in the education sector, then in the Malta Catholic Action (MCA) and later at Id-Dar tal-Providenza.

At the end of the celebration, Josef Debono, the President of the MCA addressed the congregation and described Id-Dar tal-Providenza as the social soul of Malta.

Those present then gathered around Dun Mikiel’s grave for a moment of reflection and prayer.
Next year, Id-Dar tal-Providenza will be commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of when on the 11th January 1968, Villa Mons Gonzi welcomed its first residents as well as the fiftieth anniversary since the Sisters of Charity started giving their invaluable service to the residents of the Home.

Malta represented in a Catholic European meeting for Deaf Persons

A Maltese delegation made up of Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, Mr Natalino Psaila, a deaf person, and Mrs Rita Portelli, interpreter of the Maltese Sign Language, took part in the second Catholic European meeting for Deaf persons that took place in the city of Prague in the Czech Republic. This bi-annual meeting is meant for representatives of the Catholic Church in European countries, who are involved in pastoral work with Deaf persons, to meet up and share experiences, projects as well as difficulties encountered with in their respective countries.

The meeting was officially opened by H.E. Mgr Dominik Jaroslav Duka O.P., Cardinal of Prague, who also celebrated mass for all the participants in St Vitu’s Cathedral.

During the meeting, the Maltese representatives had the opportunity to share the experiences of the Malta Diocese with Deaf Persons amongst which are the setting up of a Deaf Ministry Team, a Saturday evening mass in the chapel of the University of Malta interpreted with the Maltese Sign Language, an interpretation service for those preparing for the Sacraments, new resources such as the readings of the Liturgy of the Word and other prayers in the Maltese Sign Language that one can easily access on You Tube or the Laikos Website.

Other countries taking part besides the Czech Republic and Malta were Poland, Italy, Holland, Ireland, the Ukraine, Spain, France, Germany, Slovenia and Hungary.

Poland was chosen to host the third European meeting that will take place in 2019.

On behalf of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, THANK YOU

Id-Dar tal-Providenza and the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes at December 13th Road in Marsa

Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, led a Eucharistic Celebration at the Our Lady of Lourdes grotto at December 13th Road in Marsa. Also taking part were the Marsa parish priests of the Holy Trinity and Maria Reġina parishes. This is an annual event that started in 1981 when Mgr Mikiel Azzopardi, founder of the Siġġiewi Home, celebrated the first Mass at the grotto in a year that was dedicated to persons with disability.

At the end of the ceremony, Fr Martin was presented with a donation of €2,088 by Mr Joseph Vella, curator of the grotto together with his son Mario and other volunteers.

€1,645 raised during Band march in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza

On the tenth Anniversary of the Canonisation of San Ġorġ Preca, the Għaqda Mużikali San Gejtanu of Ħamrun organised a band march along the main street of Ħamrun in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza for which all band clubs in Malta have been invited to participate. An appreciable number of Maltese band clubs did take part in this philantropic initiative that began with a Eucharistic Celebration at the Miraculous Medal Chapel where remains of St George Preca, the first Maltese saint, are to be found.

At the end of the band march aptly titled March for Providence, various donations were made to Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, by representaives of the participating bands as well as by civic and political organisations of Ħamrun to raise the nice sum of €1,645. The President of the Għaqda Mużikali of Ħamrun, Mr Anselm Sciberras, thanked all the bandsmen who played for free in this initiative which, he said will become an annual event.

Fr Martin Micallef joined the Club President in thanking all those that took part and said that initiatives like this fill the administrators of Id-Dar tal-Providenza with hope that it can continue to provide a service of the highest quality to the residents of the Home

€2920 raised during The Two Islands Challenge in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza

On Friday, 31st March, the Groups “Experience Adventure and More” and “Camini…amo 2017” managed to raise €2,920 during a 45-kilometre walk that started off from in front of the Għarb parish church on to Mġarr harbour in Gozo and then took off again in Ċirkewwa towards the Birżebbuġa parish church in the south of Malta.

146 participants from Malta and Gozo enjoyed walking in a beautiful, sunny day to raise funds in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza. This was the fourth edition of this annual challenge.

The organisers and Id-Dar tal-Providenza thank all the participants that walked the distance as well as the the companies that supported the fund raising initiative amongst which were Maltapost plc, Custo Coaches, V. Spiteri & Sons Ltd, General Soft Drinks Ltd., Go & Fun, Greens Supermarket and Easy Dry Malta.

Onorifiċenza Mertu Siġġiewi for Mgr Lawrence Gatt, ex-Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza

Id-Dar tal-Providenza wishes to express its satisfaction as well as its appreciation that Mgr Lawrence Gatt, ex-Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, was presented with the Onorifiċenza Mertu Siġġiewi by the Siġġiewi Local Council. Mgr Gatt just turned 80 and was Director of the Home for a full 22 years between 1978 and 2009. Currently he is the Chancellor of the Maltese Curia.

The presentation ceremony took place on Sunday 5th March 2017 at Id-Dar tal-Providenza under the Distinguished Patronage of Dr Louis Galea following a thanksgiving Mass at the Home’s Chapel and was held on the occasion of Jum is-Siġġiewi.

Whilst Mgr Gatt was Director of the Home, Villa Papa Luciani was inaugurated, Dar Żerniq opened its doors in the community of Siġġiewi and Villa Monsinjur Gonzi was rebuilt from scratch. Other refurbishing works were undertaken on existing facilities and structures.

Also under his watch, apart from improved support for the residents and respite services, the residents with intellectual disabilities started getting support to grow in their faith through symbolic catechesis with the support of the Glasgow based Agency SPRED (SPecial REligious Development).

Together with Mgr Lawrence Gatt Prof Albert Fenech, Sr Adele Baldacchino, Mr Joe Aquilina and Mro Euchar Gravina were also apresented the Onorifiċenza Mertu Siġġiewi.

$7,000AUD raised during Fund Raising Night in Australia for Id-Dar tal-Providenza

The Friends of Providence House NSW(FOPH) in conjunction with the Hamrun Club at Marsden Park, Sydney raised $7,000AUD during a Fund Raising Night on Saturday 18th February 2017 in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza.

Those who attended warmly applauded a message, that was read by Ms Marisa Previtera, Secretary FOPH, from the Home’s Director, Fr Martin Micallef who said that it is indeed heart-warming to know that thousands of miles away there are Maltese and Gozitans that never let go of their roots and financially continue to support organisations back home like Id-Dar tal-Providenza. He thanked members and supporters of the Hamrun Club who chose to be present at the Fund Raising Night and be part of the generous donation made to the Siġġiewi Home.

The Friends of Providence House of New South Wales is led by its Founder and Coordinator Jim Borg.

The Two Islands Challenge in aid of id-Dar tal-Providenza Join us for a 45km walk or part of it

The Groups “Experience: Adventures and More” and “Camini…amo” will be organising the fourth edition of The Two Islands Challenge. This is a 45km walk that starts off in Gozo and ends at the south end of Malta. This challenge will be taking place on Friday, March 31st 2017.

The participants from Malta will meet up at Ċirkewwa near the Ferry at 7.00am to board on the 7.30am trip. At their arrival in Mġarr transport will be available to take them near the San Dimitri Chapel in Għarb from where the walk starts at 8.30am. The participants from Gozo will gather at 8.00am near the parish church of Għarb. From there the participants will walk 13km to the Mġarr harbour in time for the 11.15am ferry trip to Malta. Once at Ċirkewwa they will set on the 32Km walk to Birżebbuġa parish church. Anyone who for some reason or another cannot do the whole challenge may just do part of it.

Those wishing to participate need to register by visiting the site: www.dartalprovidenza.org. For more information you can also visit the Facebook pages of “”Experience: Adventures and More” and “Camini…amo”

Marcel Pisani – A stalwart that counted for persons with disability

Id-Dar tal-Providenza honours the memory of Mr Marcel Pisani, a great activist in the disability sector, who was called to join his Creator on Saturday, 12th February 2017. His work within the National Parents’ Society Persons with Disability (Għaqda Nazzjonali Ġenituri b’Diżabilità) which he led for a number of years and Aġenzija Sapport of which he was the first CEO, resulted in a better quality of life for many persons with disability and their parents.
In front of all the obstacles that society raised against inclusion and participation by persons with disability in the life of society, added to his own experience of having two disabled children, Marcel did not remain passive but created a parents’ movement to speak up with the authorities on behalf of their children so that they are given what is theirs by right.
The road was not easy, but Marcel’s determination together with that of his wife Adelina and other parents led to the changes that were needed in the mentality of the people that used to look negatively at persons with disability as well as in other services that were totally unavailable.
As part of the National Parents’ Society Persons with Disability, Marcel worked hard for the setting up of Dar il-Kaptan to offer respite services to parents of persons with disability that needed it. Within Aġenzija Sapport, that was practically set up by him, he introduced a wide range of services amongst them the opening of a number of residential homes and other services in the community for persons with disability.
In 2013, Id-Dar tal-Providenza recognised his unstinted work in the disability sector and presented him and his wife Adelina with the Premju Dun Mikiel Azzopardi.
Id-Dar tal-Providenza conveys its heartfelt condolences to his wife Adelina and his sons Paul and Matthew.

Id-Dar tal-Providenza gets a helping hand and a donation from ITS, Tourism Ministry

A number of ITS students and employees today gave a helping hand at id-Dar tal-Providenza as part of the tourism education institute’s Corporata Social Responsibility.

Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis lauded the generous initiative and urged all other entities that fall under his ministry’s remit to follow suit.

ITS CEO Pierre Fenech said the institute had a responsibility towards society and these events also brought students and employees together for a noble cause.

Dr Zammit Lewis and Mr Fenech presented a donation of €882 to Dar tal-Providenza Director Fr Martin Micallef. The sum was made up of donations collected from Tourism Ministry employees and a food sale organized by the ITS.

Photo Credit: DOI – Pierre Sammut