Tuesday, June 19, 2012

35th Anniversary

June 19, 1977 - the day of our Ordination at St John's Cathedral, Valletta

I look back today to that historic day on Sunday June 19, 1977 when along with 13 other classmates, I was ordained a priest by Archbishop Joseph Mercieca at St John’s Cathedral in Valletta, Malta. After 7 happy years living at the Seminary with all my classmates and about another 50 seminarians, we were now all assigned to different parishes, myself ending up in my hometown parish of St Julian’s. where I spent 4 years before leaving for the USA in September 1981.

Just a few days before Ordination in June 1977
I enjoyed living at the Seminary, in a community with other seminarians, a few older than us and others younger, all in different stages of the journey to the altar. While attending the University of Malta, we also did manual work in the summer months, mainly to get acquainted with the life of workers. Personally I worked at a shipyard and a car assembly plant, but most of my time was spent helping my parish priest in various summer activities and other liturgical functions.

Our Seminary years, this being Christmas 1971, our first year
With 5 of my classmates in 2010 at a reunion in Malta

Most of my classmates stayed in Malta working in parishes, and other than one other who went to Australia for a few years, and a three others taking post–graduate courses in Canon Law, Sacred Art and Communications, all stayed close to each other, meeting periodically and celebrating Mass every year on our anniversary. I joined them on the 10th and 25th anniversary but was not able to join them on most of the anniversaries because I’m always involved in parish work, especially over the last 10 years, being by myself.
With my parents, June 19, 1977
One of my classmates early this morning wrote this about our service to the church. Between all of us, we have given 3,890,000 hours of service, in 26 different parishes in Malta, 6 different nations outside Malta, on 4 continents, and within 7 institutions of the Church and the University.

To end I share this beautiful poem by Henri Lacordaire, a French Dominican priest, which I have recited every year on my anniversary Mass:
To live in the midst of the world, without desiring its pleasures.
To be a member of each family, yet belonging to none.
To share all sufferings, to heal all wounds.
To penetrate all secrets, without being curious.
To go from men to God and offer Him their prayers.
To return from God to men, to bring pardon, hope and peace.
To have a heart of gold for charity, and a heart of bronze for chastity
To teach, to listen, to forgive. To lead, to console, to bless always.
This is your life, o priest of Christ.                     


  1. Happy Anniversary from your family in Malta.May God continue to guide and help you in your mission as for the past 35 years.

  2. Happy Anniversary Father Julian! Thank you for your dedication! You are amazing!!!