“The Pope blessed the residents of Id-Dar tal-Providenza and in so doing he blessed the people of Malta and Gozo.” Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna said this in his homily during a Thanksgiving Mass celebrated at St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Id-Dar tal-Providenza. He continued saying: “I told the Pope: Your Holiness I present you with a beautiful flower of the Maltese Church and Maltese Society.”
The Archbishop insisted that when we find time, help and resources for an institution like Id-Dar tal-Providenza we are making a statement to the world: “Who are we to decide on the values of human life? We receive it as a gift. Who am I to choose between one person and another? Who am I to say that I only want those who are beautiful, well-built, intelligent and healthy? Who am I? And although this is a sure sign of utter humility, I think it is also a sign of dignity and civility”.
Faced with a group of residents on the front rows, the Archbishop continued saying that every time we talk about the story of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, we always mention that woman who donated a hundred Malta liri. However, we also ought to thank so many people who see to it that this river of generosity never dries up. He ended by saying: “may we who endeavour to have an inclusive society on many levels, and it is right to do so, will never forget those brothers and sisters who with their presence and their life, are not a burden but a richness, are not a weight but a source of happiness and peace for us all.”
In attendance were the President of Malta, Mrs Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, the Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat, Chief Justice Dr Silvio Camilleri, Presidents Emeriti, Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament as well as ex-Prime Minister Dr Lawrence Gonzi, the first Chairperson of the National Commission for Persons with Disability (KNPD).
Concelebrating with Archbishop Scicluna were Archbishop Emeritus Paul Cremona OP and Archbishop Joe Spiteri, Apostolic Nuncio for the Ivory Coast The congregation met with a round of applause the announced presence of Archbishop Emeritus Ġużeppi Mercieca who though not in good health made it a point to attend.
The offerings were taken up by Sr Lorenza Borg, Mother Superior of the Sisters of Charity who have been generously giving service at Id-Dar tal-Providenza for the last forty-eight years and Dr George Depasquale, nephew of Agnes Coleiro who made the first donation fifty years ago. Residents offered agricultural products that they produce themselves at the Agriculture Centre they have in their Home in Siġġiewi as well as fruits and vegetables that were donated to Dar tal-Kleru.
At the beginning of the Mass, Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, said that through the sacrifice of the Mass we wanted to thank God for the work done by the Church in Malta as living witness to its dedication for inclusion. Id-Dar tal-Providenza will remain a shining example of the human face of the Church in Malta, a Church that is near the people, a Church that its doors are open to everyone, a Church that listens, a Church that puts into practice the solidarity, love and respect for man’s dignity from birth until death, a Church that fosters justice to ensure the rights to those who were deprived of them.
Mgr Charles Cordina then read the special Papal Blessing given on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Id-Dar tal-Providenza.