Id-Dar tal-Providenza celebrates the memory of Mgr Philip Calleja who has today joined his risen Lord. After the death in May 1987 of Mgr Mikiel Azzopardi, the founder of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, then Archbisop Mgr Ġużeppi Mercieca nominated Mgr Calleja to organise Dun Mikiel’s funeral as well as to assume responsibility for the administration of the Home until the nomination of Mgr Lawrence Gatt as its new Director.
Mgr Calleja was born on 6th December 1928 and ordained priest on August 2nd, 1953. His first pastoral work was mainly with the children of Valletta who attended the Malta Catholic Action. He also founded the Emigrants Commission, referred to today as the Migrants Commission. He was a Deputy at the Marriages’ office at the Curia and later Chancellor of the Archbishop’s Curia.
In 1962. Fr Philip was informed that the Admiralty’s Rest Camp that was on the road that took to Għar Lapsi was going to be transferred to Mellieħa and that if the Malta Church needed the land, it should apply for it without delay. On Fr Philip’s initiative talks soon started so that the camp will be taken over by the Malta Catholic Action (MCA), which is what actually happened, and the site started to be used as a summer camp for kids. In the meantime, Mgr Mikiel Azopardi, who was the Ecclesiastical Assistant of the MCA, set in motion his idea to use the place as the base for Id-Dar tal-Providenza. In fact, work on this project started in 1965.
In 2018, Mgr Philip Calleja was awarded the Mgr Mikiel Azzopardi prize as a sign of of acknowledgement and appreciation of the Home for work and support towards it. On that occasion, the Auxiliary Bishop, Mgr Joseph Galea-Curmi congratulated Mgr Calleja for being honoured with the Award and praised him for his long years of hard work that not only symbolised his character but also epitomised the ongoing commitment of the Maltese Church towards the wellbeing of the needy and the emarginated in our society.
Lord grant him eternal rest.
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