Paceville & St Julians

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The Augustinian presence in Paceville goes back to the 20th century, when the lawyer Giuseppe Pace built a small church and an adjoining small house in a plot in Spinola, limits of St. Julian’s. He decided to give this land against payment to the Augustinian Province so that it would serve the spiritual needs of the people who went to live in this new town. As soon as this land was accepted, the Provincial, Father Lawrence Agius OSA obtained the necessary permits from the church. On the 12th July 1936, the Provincial blessed the church dedicated to Our Lady of Good Counsel on of the three Marian titles venerated in the Augustinian Order.

Although the church served very well the spiritual needs of the people of Spinola (that had grown into a beautiful village called Paceville) for 30 whole years, the time had come for a new bigger and more beautiful church to be built.  For this end, the Provincial, Father Ugolin Gatt OSA commissioned Mr. Tura Zammit to prepare a plan for a modern church and convent with all modern amenities. The foundation stone of the new church was laid on the 18th June 1967 and was blessed by the Archbishop Mons. Michael Gonzi.

The new convent was inaugurated and blessed by the Provincial, Father Albert Borg OSA on Sunday 30th April 1972 on the occasion of the feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel. The blessing inauguration and consecration of the new church took place on the 4th May 1974 by Mons. Michael Gonzi.

The Augustinians had long felt the need to delve into the heart of this ministry in order to reach the young people and tourists that frequented the area of Paceville In 1988, the community took on this work with greater commitment and work was started on the project of the Millennium Chapel Foundation built thanks to public donations and which was opened in the year 2000. The Millennium Chapel Foundation takes care of the management of this place. Apart from the perpetual adoration of the Holy Sacrament, the Augustinian monks also thought of organising courses and meetings of specific social and religious groups in this place.

On the 28th August 2004, Archbishop Joseph Mercieca, together with the Provincial, Father Lucjan Borg OSA officially opened the WOW centre which is the social arm of the Millenium Chapel. This place serves as a communication centre and thus in it we find an auditorium that can seat 120 people, meeting rooms and various other facilities. In this way the Millennium Chapel wishes to integrate all that is spiritual with all that is material for the sake of the complete person while, at the same time seeking to reach all those who are looking for God in their lives.

Apart from catering for the spiritual, human and social needs of the youths, residents and tourists in the area, the community of Paceville is also engaged in coordinating the work of the Augustinian missions. The Augustinian community in Paceville also provides services in the chapel of St. Rita in St. Julian’s.

St Julians

In 1923, Ms. Nikolina Pons, expressed her wish to the Provincial of the time, Father Giovanni M. Genovese OSA so that according to her uncle’s wish, who had been an Augustinian monk, to help the farmers by building a small church and giving her house to serve as a convent for two or three religious brothers so that they could celebrate mass every day and provide a service to the faithful. After being accepted by the Council of the Province and by the Archbishop of Malta, the architect Guzeppi Cachia Caruana made a plan for the convent without the church.  The foundation stone was blessed and laid on the 11th September 1927. However, due to limited funds, it was decided to build only the ground floor and not two floors as was conceived in the original plans. With this project a number of rooms intended to be used as a public oratory, were left out. On the 24th may 1928, the Provincial, Father Augustine Cascun OSA solemnly blessed the public oratory dedicated to St. Rita. Exactly a month afterwards the convent was blessed.

During the Second World War, the convent and church of St. Rita were in a very bad state. On the 27th April 1941, at around 5 pm, a German bomb hit and destroyed the heart of the convent and the public chapel. All that was left of the chapel was only a wall where there was the Holy Sacrament that remained intact.  Therefore the monks did what they could to repair the damage. The monks kept living in that state with many sacrifices up to the 11th November 1944 when the building of the oratory was completed on the plans of the architect E. England Sant Fournier. The blessing of the oratory dedicated to St. Rita took place 15 days later. During the same time that the oratory was being built, the community struggled to get permission from the Government to build the convent and after many requests part of the permit was issued on the 7th November 1944. The work continued two years later. In 1950 there were great celebrations commemorating the canonisation of St. Rita. In the Provincial Chapter of 1974, the convent of St. Rita was chosen as an initial House of Formation for young people embracing the Augustinian Order, until the convent in Rabat was once again chosen for this purpose and which still operates as such till this day.


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