St George’s Parish has throughout the ages been a cradle of various vocations, both priestly and religious. In 1988, Rev. Egidio Vigano, Superior General of the Salesian family, visited the Maltese islands and unveiled a bust of the Salesian Founder Saint John Bosco next to St George’s Basilica to express the bond between our parish and the Don Bosco Oratory of Victoria.
This year, two members of the Salesian community who hail from St George’s commemorate the fortieth anniversary from their Solemn Profession as members of the religious congregation founded by Don Bosco. These are Rev. Dr Fabio Attard and Brother Leli Gatt.
Fr Fabio Attard was born on 23 March 1959 in Victoria. He professed as a Salesian on 8 September 1980 in Dublin where he made his novitiate. He received the diaconate on 12 July 1986 at St George’s Basilica and was ordained to priesthood at St George’s on 4 July the following year by Cardinal Castillo Lara SDB. He was Rector at Tas-Sliema, at St Alphonsus, and then at St Patrick’s. Fr Attard received his degree in Moral Theology at the Alphonsianum in Rome. He wrote the thesis of his doctorate on Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman. Fr Attard was Rector of the Institute of Pastoral Formation, which he had founded in 2005 in the Archdiocese of Malta; he participated in the 26th General Chapter as Delegate of the Province of Ireland-Malta and was elected Councillor for Youth Ministry until recently.
Brother Leli Gatt was born in Victoria, Gozo on 18 December 1943 and brought up in Fontana. He comes from a large family of seven siblings. When he was still young, he frequented the Don Bosco Oratory in Victoria and it was from here that he felt the calling to join the Salesians of Don Bosco. However, before deciding to join them, when he was only 21 years old, he emigrated to the United States of America and served in the US Army National Guards. Back to Malta in 1973, he joined the Salesians. He did his studies in Philosophy at the INSERM and then proceeded to Ireland. He professed on 8 September 1980. He has worked for several years with the young at St Patrick’s and Savio College. Today he forms part of the Salesian community in Senglea.
May the Lord continue to bless our parish with more vocations to the priesthood and the religious life.