Author: Franica Pulis

‘The fruit of an ecclesial welcoming attitude is true reconciliation’

As announced at the last Diocesan Assembly in November 2021, throughout this year we will be focusing on the theme A Church that welcomes. The intent is to appropriate more deeply our Church’s charism of “hospitality,” not only by tearing down the walls that separate us, but by opening spaces for healing in body and soul to be reconciled as one People. As we embrace an attitude of reconciliation and mercy, the Church in Malta becomes “like ‘bread that is broken’ to rediscover her original calling…that of sharing the Good News through serving all, by serving everyone without discrimination” (One Church, One Journey).

Throughout the next nine months, we will be focusing on five themes:

  • Migrants: that we may learn to put on the shoes of migrants among us, especially those in our very neighbourhoods, to meet their multiple complex needs and welcome them in friendship.
  • Political Reconciliation: that we may ponder and seek healing for the wounds in our nation’s history.
  • Diakonia: that we may reflect on the extent we are responding to the signs of the times by tending to the needs of all the poor and the vulnerable in our communities in a spirit of evangelisation.
  • Safeguarding: that, in light of the universal Church’s commitment in this field, we may seek healing for all those who feel hurt by the Church.
  • The LGBTIQ community: that, following the preliminary reflection at the Diocesan Assembly, we may continue to reach out and build bridges of encounter with the members of this community who may feel excluded by the Church.

Celebrating Pentecost: 7 experiences of Catholic faith

To celebrate this year’s Pentecost, the Pastoral Formation Institute was inspired by the ecclesial renewal document One Church, One Journey to showcase the beautiful tapestry that is the Catholic Church in Malta. In a series of 7 testimonies, we will meet persons from different countries, cultures, and languages, expressing their Catholic faith and their experience of the Holy Spirit in their lives.  A video will be published every day during the week leading to Pentecost.

Our aim is to show the richness and diversity of the Catholic Church in Malta, and what better feast to highlight this than the great feast of Pentecost!

This project presented us with a unique opportunity to meet 11 wonderful individuals who shared with us their experience of living in Malta, on living their vocation in their daily life, and their thoughts on the Holy Spirit. Each person also recites a prayer in their own language.

Join us on this journey to discover how, although we have different languages and rites, we are all One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

Watch these experiences below

Meet Ana Maria Quintero López, from Colombia. In 2017 Ana Maria came to Malta to learn English and ended up finding her now husband. Now she calls Malta her new home. Click here to find out more about Ana Maria.

Meet Alessandro and Valentina Scafidi who decided to take a leap of faith and move to Malta in hopes to find a new place to call home. Watch this couples’ testimonial on how they feel God’s presence in their everyday life. Click here to find out more about Alessandro and Valentina.

Meet Sam Thomas Alex, from India. He was very excited when he had an opportunity to work in Malta, the land where St Paul was shipwrecked. Now working as a registered nurse at St Martin’s College and leading the Msida branch of the St Thomas Syro-Malabar community in Malta, he is still fascinated by the churches found at every corner on the island.

Meet Joseph Keleta from Eritrea and Deborah Keleta from Malta. A newlywed couple who shared their experience of strength in faith in facing life’s challenges.

Meet Pappàs Martin Zammit, from Valletta. He is married with two kids and a grandfather of three. P Martin lectures Arabic and Semitic languages at the University of Malta and he is the parish priest of the Greek-Catholic Parish of Malta.

Meet Robert Farrugia. “The human being thirsts for love in a universal manner. We all wish to feel loved. In love we find healing, peace and rest. This love is experienced in different experiences, be it romantic, friendship but most of all interior. It is there that we experience a different kind of relationship, a true treasure, the proper source of spiritual love.”

Meet Sr Mimosa (Albania), Sr Maria (Spain) & Sr Luigina (Italy) who came to Malta in hope to create a family atmosphere, where youth of different backgrounds meet & flourish in Catholic values.

‘Read Think Speak’ by MCYN

Read Think Speak is a series of meetings which forms part of the process of listening which the Church in Malta is doing in line with the document One Church, One Journey. As an entity of the Archdiocese, the Malta Catholic Youth Network (MCYN) felt it needed to really practice being a ‘Church that listens’. So, the main aim of these meetings is to listen to what young people, youth leaders and parish priests have to say. Although these meetings are being held online due to the restrictions imposed because of the pandemic, they are also an opportunity for different youth groups to get to know each other.

Read Think Speak is an ongoing project which started in February 2021. Each month, MCYN meets two different youth groups for an informal meeting where the team, youth leaders and young people share experiences of encounter with Christ, which has been especially fruitful. The meeting also include discussions about themes from the process One Church, One Journey.

Each meeting involves between ten and twenty people from different parishes and lay communities. Since August 2021, MCYN met a total of 123 people, and looks forward to meeting many more! These meetings would not be a possibility without the cooperation and dedication of various youth leaders who help make Read Think Speak happen.

With over a 100 different youth groups all over Malta, we’ve got a long way to go. However, the feedback we’ve received so far has been extremely affirming. Attendees have expressed their gratitude to be given the space to share and listen to the experiences of peers from different groups. Through their sharing, young people and youth groups have come to see the similarities and differences between them, both as individuals and as groups. Many times, an acknowledgement of these differences were seen to make the Church all the more richer.