Players and volunteers of the Volleyball Marathon 2017 hosted by the President of Malta

The President of Malta, Mrs Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca hosted a reception for all players and volunteers of the Volleyball Marathon that took place between June 30th and 2nd July of this year. The reception was held at San Anton Palace.

Forty players took part in the 53-hour Volleyball Marathon supported by more than three hundred volunteers. Their efforts managed to raise €658,039 which also includes monies raised during the TV programme ‘Xarabank’ the previous week.

Maltese delegation at Vatican conference on Catechesis for Persons with Disability

A Maltese delegation led by Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza took part in an International Conference on Catechesis of Persons with Disability in the life of the Church. It was held at the Università Pontificia Urbaniana between Friday 20th and Sunday 22nd October 2017 and it was organised by the Pontificial Council for the Promotion of New Evangelisation on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The conference was opened by the President of the Pontificial Council for the Promotion of New Evangelisation, Archbishop Rino Fisichella who also celebrated Holy Mass for the participants at St Peter’s Basilica at the end of the conference. Most of the speakers were either persons with disability or relatives of persons with disability. They shared experiences on what they are doing or what is happening in their respective dioceses so that persons with disability will have equal opportunities to grow in their faith.

On Saturday morning, the participants had to opportunity to meet Pope Francis at the Sala Clementina of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. In his address, Pope Francis reiterated that “although today there is a growth in awareness of the dignity of every person, at cultural level however expressions persist that harm the dignity of these people through the prevalence of a false concept of life.” The Pope said that “a vision that is often narcissistic and utilitarian unfortunately leads many to consider as marginal people with disabilities, without recognizing in them the multiform human and spiritual wealth.” He added that “an attitude of denying this condition, as if it prevented happiness and the realization of the self, is still too strong in the common mentality. This is shown by the eugenic tendency to suppress unborn children when they are shown to have some form of imperfection. In reality, we all know many people who, with their fragility, even in serious cases, have found the path of a good life rich in meaning, if with some hardship.”

On the subject of Catechesis , the Pope said that in a special way the Church “is called to discover and experiment with coherent forms so that every person, with his or her gifts, limits and disabilities, even serious, may encounter Jesus on the way and abandon himself to Him with faith.” He contuned to say that “no physical or psychic limit may ever be an obstacle to this encounter, because the face of Christ shines in the intimacy of every person.” The Pope urged the Church “to form – first of all by example – catechists who are increasingly capable of accompanying these people so that they may grow in faith and make their genuine and original contribution to the life of the Church.” Finally Pope Francis hoped that “in communities, people with disabilities may too be catechists, also by their witness, to transmit faith in a more effective way.”

The other members of the Maltese delegation apart from Fr Martin were Mrs Rita Darmanin from the Malta Catechetical Commission, Mr Natalino Psaila, a deaf person and Mrs Giselle Pisani, a mother of an autistic child.

At the end of the meeting with Pope Francis, Fr Martin presented him with a draft copy of a publication of a booklet of prayers in the Maltese Sign Language. The booklet is due to be published locally in the coming weeks.

APS Bank finances energy efficient heat pumps for Id-Dar tal-Providenza

APS Bank Chairman, Frederick Mifsud Bonnici presented a donation of €9,000 to the Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, Fr Martin Micallef.

The contribution served to finance the purchase of energy efficient heat pumps and ancillary equipment for the institution’s Home in Siġġiewi, making the building more energy efficient.

On behalf of the residents, staff and administration, Fr Martin expressed his gratitude to such an altruistic gesture. The ceremony was also attended by senior members of the Home’s management and the Bank’s CEO, Marcel Cassar.

2018 Id-Dar tal-Providenza Diary coming your way

The pocket diary of Id-Dar tal-Providenza for 2018 is currently being distributed in every household in Malta and Gozo. This diary, with its information that is useful throughout the whole year, provides an opportunity for a show of solidarity with the Home that offers residency with the right environment to one hundred and fifteen persons with disability so that they can foster their personal growth to the fullest.

Over the past few weeks many volunteers from all walks of life gave a helping hand to pack these diaries in special envelopes. As in previous years, the diary includes the very useful timetable for daily and Sunday masses in all churches in Malta and Gozo and a detailed calendar. A list highlighting all the parish feasts in these islands for 2018 is also included.

Anyone not receiving the diary is requested to call reception at Id-Dar tal-Providenza on 21462844 or email on info@dartalprovidenza.org.
The coloured painting on the front page is the work of Christina Grech.

MAPFRE MSV Life and GasanMamo Insurance sponsored the printing of the diary whilst Maltapost has again agreed to distribute the diaries free of charge.

Parliamentary Secretary for Persons with Disability and Active Ageing pays visit to Id-Dar tal-Providenza

The Parliamentary Secretary for Persons with Disability and Active Ageing, Hon. Anthony Agius Decelis paid an official visit to Id-Dar tal-Providenza in Siġġiewi. He was welcomed by Fr Martin Micallef, Director of the Home and had a meeting with members of the Administration. He also had the opportunity to meet and address the residents and their support workers.

In his short address, Fr Martin referred to the fifty-two years of Id-Dar tal-Providenza which would not have been made possible without the vision of its founder Dun Mikiel Azzopardi, without its dedicated workers, professionals and Sisters of Charity together with benefactors who believed in the cause and helped to get it started and kept it going. He mentioned that during all these years, different governments gave their full support to the Home and its work. Therefore, Fr Martin wanted to take this opportunity to show the Home’s appreciation for the help that the present Government and Parliamentary Secretariat gave and are still giving to the Home.

The Hon. Agius Decelis said that the whole agenda for his Parliamentary Secretariat is based on the Labour Party’s electoral manifesto approved by the electorate in the last general election and therefore the work aimed at persons with disability will continue notwithstanding who is or is not Parliamentary Secretary. He appealed for collective cooperation from Id-Dar tal-Providenza and all related NGOs so that the work will continue to improve the quality of life of persons with disability.

Parliamentary Secretary Agius Decelis visited the chapel and Dun Mikiel’s Museum and then toured the therapeutic pool and the St Isidore Agriculture Centre.

Dar tal-Providenza residents in pilgrimage to Lourdes

Archbishop Emeritus Mgr Paul Cremona O.P. led a pilgrimage for the sick to Lourdes organised by the Assoċċjazzjoni Volontarji Lourdes (AVL).

The group was made up of one hundred and eighty people from Malta and was joined by another six from London, Brussels and Luxembourg. Making part of the group were four residents of Id-Dar tal-Providenza: Carmelina Formosa, Antonia Deguara, Pierre Borg and Frankie Cortis. They were accompanied by support workers from the Home.

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.

On Monday 4 September Mgr Cremona led a concelebrated Mass in Maltese at the Grotto.

Id-Dar tal-Providenza at “Festa Għeneb 2017” in Siġġiewi

Residents and workers at the St Isidore Ariculture Centre at Id-Dar tal-Providenza took part in “Festa Għeneb” on Sunday, 27th August in the main square of Siġġiewi. They exhibited various agricultural products that are produced by the residents to be sold to the general public present. Amongst the products were various types of jams, pickled onions, carob and lemon syrups, ġardiniera, capers and various herbs and other products.

“Festa Għeneb” was organised by the Siġġiewi Local Council.

“An experience I will never forget” – Sarah Anne Casha

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity with another three students, to do voluntary work with some of the residents of Id-Dar tal-Providenza in Siġġiewi. This was a five-day experience, during which we were residing at the Sisters of Charity convent in Gudja, whom we were actually representing. Our day would start by attending mass at the Gudja parish itself followed by breakfast together at the convent. After breakfast, we used to gather at the small convent chapel for a few minutes of reflection in front of the Eucharist.

Till noontime, the day was for us to use; there was a day when we went swimming and other days during which we listened to interesting talks on various topices. The first discussion we had at the Gudja convent, chaired by Mr Tonio Macelli, focused on emotional freedom. I was struck by the various points of how one can control his/her emotions. In another talk we had at the Foundation of St Joan Antide in Tarxien, we discussed domestic violence; be it physical, mental or emotional. Another interesting discussion was at Caritas during which we focused on the use of technology in our daily lives and how this is suffocating communication between us. The main reflection was specifically on how much precious time is lost that can be utilised more effectively.
After lunch and a short break, every afternoon we used to go to Id-Dar tal-Providenza. Our work was to accompany the residents during their daily outing. We visited the Viewing Gallery at the Airport, Il-Gallarija in Fgura, Tignè Point in Sliema and we also went with them to Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq.

This was an experience I will never forget because it filled me with a sense of responsibility, especially when I was assigned to a person with disability in a wheelchair. Personally, at first I was a bit scared because this was my first such experience, but now I feel happy that I learnt a lot and was of service to others. All in all, this was an experience from which I learnt to appreciate life more, the opportunities that come my way and that I am in good health. I hope that other students will, like me, enjoy the satisfaction of a similar experience.

If you wish to join this group, that is referred to as Young Friends of Jeanne Antide, visit the page: facebook.com/ymsjam/

The Klabb Għannejja Maltin of Melbourne, Australia make donation to Id-Dar tal-Providenza

Representatives of the Klabb Għannejja Maltin of Melbourne, Australia paid a visit and made a donation to Id-Dar tal-Providenza in Siġġiewi. The representatives of the Club, Mary and Joe Farrugia, Joe Busuttil, Debbie and Charles Baldacchino, presented the donation to Fr Martin Micallef, Director of the Home. Fr Martin had met members of the the club during his visit to Australia in 2013.

The Association was formed to provide an environment and a meeting place for the Maltese għannejja and kitarristi living in Melbourne to meet and express themselves in the traditional form of Maltese folkloristic music, thereby keeping it alive in their adopted country Australia.

Motorcycle pilgrimage in aid of id-Dar tal-Providenza

On Tuesaday 15 August 2017, Mgarr and Dingli Parishes organised the ,motorcycles pilgrimage on the occassion of Our Lady of the Assumption feast. Both parishes celebrate their titular feast the first Sunday after the 15th August.

This event organised for the second consecutive year brought together motorcyclists form both localities in a pilgrimage accompanied by two images of their respective titular statues.

The pilgrimage left from Id-Dar tal-Providenza where the motorcyclists gave a donation for the home.

The pilgrimage passed through Dingli with a short stop infront of the parish chaurch and than proceeded to Mgarr were particicipants gathered on the Church parvis where the parish priest Mgr Kalċidon Vassallo thanked all the participants and said a prayer to our Lady.

At id-Dar tal-Providenza Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza thanked both parish priest for this charitable initative and not the lesat all the participants.