1. When were you born and where did you live? 

I was born on 4 August 1942 at Rabat, Gozo.

  1. Where did you receive your primary; secondary and post-secondary education? 

At the local primary school and at the Augustinian College, Tarxien. Thereafter I completed my studies in Philosophy and Theology at the Augustinian Convent, Rabat, Malta (St. Mark’s Convent).

I completed my studies in Brazil where I obtained on 28.11.1968 a Diploma in Catechis (Catequetica de Belo-Horizonte – MG (Brazil).

  1. When did you feel the call for a vocation with the Augustinians and what brought this about? 

In my youth I was an altar boy at St. Augustine’s Church, Rabat, Gozo and for five years I resided as a boarder at St. Augustine College, Tarxien. As I lived in an Augustinian environment I was always interested in the Augustinian charisma. At the opportune time, I sought to start my novitiate.

  1. What do you like doing in your free time? 

Reading; walking; listening to music and Maltese postage stamps.

  1. Can you mention an interesting book you read? What was the subject matter? 

The ‘Santo Agostinho’ written by Peter Brown concerning St. Augustine’s life and writings.

‘Meeting Him changed our lives’ written by Selim Sayegh about different characters in the Bible who relate their lives.

  1. Do you have a favourite quotation/saying? 

‘Timeo Deum tanscuntem’ which means I fear the God that passes away.


  1. When were you born and where did you live? 

I was born on 28 October 1934 at Tarxien and was brought up there during the bombing of World War II.

  1. Where did you receive your primary; secondary and post-secondary education? 

At the local primary school and at the Lyceum until 1950. After that I started my novitiate in Gozo when I was 16 years of age.

  1. When did you feel the call for a vocation with the Augustinians and what brought this about? 

Fr. Egidio galea OSA used to give me lessons in Latin and I admired the Augustinian Friars at Tarxien who were welcomed by the community. From then onwards I kept searching for and discovering what God wanted from me!

  1. What do you like doing in your free time? 

I read a lot; swim; play the piano and watch football!

  1. Can you mention an interesting book you read? What was the subject matter? 

The last beautiful book I read (twice) was entitled ‘Alive in God’ written by Fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP (ex-Provincial General of the Dominicans) and I also enjoyed re-reading Dostojevski’s ‘Crime and Punishment’.

  1. Do you have a favourite quotation/saying? 

I have a number of favourite quotations from St. Augustine’s writings but the one I value very much is what Nelson Mandela said on being released after 28 years in prison i.e. ‘As I walked out of the door of prison towards my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind me, I would still be in prison.’


  1. When were you born and where did you live? 

I was born in June 1975 at Fgura.

  1. Where did you receive your primary; secondary and post-secondary education? 

At the local primary school and at the Lyceum Mikiel Anton Vassalli, Tal Handaq. I did my Sixth Form at Msida.

  1. When did you feel the call for a vocation with the Augustinians and what brought this about? 

Over many years I felt an inclination towards consecrated life but my contact with the Augustinians started during the summer of 1989 after an introductory meeting held at the above-mentioned Lyceum. After an experience of a few days at the Augustinians’ retreat/summer house at St. Paul’s Bay I liked the spirit and sense of community and this encouraged me to continue my search.

  1. What do you like doing in your free time? 

Reading; classical music; walking and the cinema.

  1. Can you mention an interesting book you read? What was the subject matter? 

‘Sull’ utilita’ e il danno della storia per la vita’ written by Friedich Nietzche in which the author goes deeply into the value, or lack of value, in the life of mankind and how this pushed human beings to the satisfaction of not remaining slaves of the ties with a past sense of life.

  1. Do you have a favourite quotation/saying? 

‘Se vuoi possedere la Carita’, cerca te stesso, trova te stesso’ (A. Agostino, Serm 34,7).


  1. When were you born and where did you live? 

I was born at Pieta’ but lived in St. Julians. At 16 years of age I entered St. Rita’s convent also at St. Julians.

  1. Where did you receive your primary; secondary and post-secondary education? 

At St. Julians primary school; Forms 1 & 2 at Gzira; Form 3 at Naxxar and Forms 4 & 5 at Imtarfa.

  1. When did you feel the call for a vocation with the Augustinians and what brought this about? 

--

  1. What do you like doing in your free time? 

Listening to music and also playing the piano.


  1. When were you born and where did you live? 

I was born on the 26th May 1953 in the city of Victoria, Gozo and I was baptised in the Parish of St George.

I was raised in the borgo of the city of Rabat, Gozo. I was raised in a disciplined environment by my mother since my father passed away early in my childhood. In my adolescent years I spent a lot of time at the Don Bosco Oratory which was run by Salesian fathers until the mid-60s and by diocesan priests from then onwards under the direction of Dun Karm Mercieca, a natural pedagogue, this was a golden age in my formation and growth.

During this period, I also discovered the community of the Augustinian fathers close to the Oratory since I was invited by the Novices to join them for an outing. From then on, a seed was sown and this began to grow.

  1. Where did you receive your primary; secondary and post-secondary education? 

I attended the primary and secondary school in Victoria, Gozo. This was also a formative time for me in terms of the example I received and the responsibility shown by the educators we had in that period. These educators treated their job as a vocation.

I started by post-secondary studies when I joined the Augustinian fathers in Rabat, Malta. After studying literature for a year, I studied philosophy for two years at the INSERM (Institutum Nationale Studiorum Ecclesiasticorum Religiosorum). I continued my studies in Theology at the Istitutum Patristicum Augustinianum while I was living at the International College of St Monica in Roma. I then completed a Licentiate in Youth Ministry at the Pontifical Salesian University.

  1. When did you feel the call for a vocation with the Augustinians and what brought this about? 

It so happened that once when the novices at our convent were going out for a walk with the Master, I was invited to join them. On our return they invited me to play ping pong with them and, after that, to pray the rosary in the chapel and I was asked to lead this. I was so happy when I returned home and related this adventure to my mother. My father had already died.

I was then between 10 and 11 years old. Thereafter I made frequent visits to the convent and so I got to know the friars very well. Together with other altar boys we used to indulge in quite a lot of childish pranks. Often Fr. Gibson would invite me to join him for a swim in the morning in summer at Xlendi Bay. He used to talk to me a great deal about the Augustinian mission in Algeria. It was from that moment that the seed for missionary work was sown in me. I used to go for walks towards Sannat with Fr. Felic. We used to sing whilst the organ was played by Fr. Prior especially after a Masconi version was installed. I well remember the Sunday Mass with the singing of the ‘De Angelis’ or the Thursdays dedicated to St. Rita when the hymn ‘Ittir min Moħħna …’ was sung.

One should not forget that in those days silence reigned supreme withing the convent. I well remember the first time that silence impressed me in a very positive way. One used to notice that silence brought with it a sense of togetherness and prayer life was very well organised. During this time that I was close to the friars I noticed their way of life and, whilst I shared with them a communitarian life, I was drawn to this. At the same time I also considered life within the seminary; the Franciscans; the Jesuits and the Salesians.

I never abandoned my social life because I remained close to the Oratory under the then spiritual director. Here I must mention Fr. Karm Mercieca who was a real guardian for us youths. He used to push us to realise our abilities and better understand our own selves. This formation helped me a great deal towards my vocation. This because of my closeness to adults and then with other youths who, like myself, realised their call to a sacerdotal vocation.

Like all other youths I myself had to make a choice. I had a spiritual director who helped me in my quest. I was still young when I chose to join the Augustinian Fathers. I placed myself in God’s hands and when I look back I repeat the words of the profit ‘I was the clay in the hands of the potter’ who slowly was forming my personality.

  1. What do you like doing in your free time? 

Throughout the years I had a number of hobbies. I used to collect stamps, pictures and coins. I wasn’t only interested in the collection itself but also in the general knowledge that one could learn through these collections. During my time in secondary school, I learnt wood work. When I was still at home or during my time of formation in Rabat, together with my friends, we would make some furniture or arrange some of the broken furniture. In the summer months, we used to go round the convents doing odd jobs and arranging any furniture which needed mending.

Another hobby I have is fishing since I can detach myself from the world for a while. However, recently I’ve discovered a new hobby – reading together with writing since I began publishing books on subjects close to my heart.

  1. Can you mention an interesting book you read? What was the subject matter? 

At the moment I am reading “Jerusalem, the Biograph” by Simon Sebag Montefiore. It is a book which narrates the story of Jerusalem based on documentation.

It is a very interesting book particularly from a historical point of view. I enjoy reading history and there are many reasons why I am reading this book. I enjoy reading the Bible, particularly the New Testament, and this book gives me an excellent background of the history, events, culture, and traditions of the Semitic world and the Biblical environment.

Another reason is that I am thinking of writing a book on a very enigmatic person. This book is helping me to understand and to build a number of arguments from a historical and a philosophical perspective in order to be able to answer some questions on this person and the age in which he lived.

  1. Do you have a favourite quotation/saying? 

I have 2 favourite quotes:

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Jn 10,10

"Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Ex 3,5


  1. When were you born and where did you live? 

I was born on 26 December 1943 at Haz-Zebbug, Malta.

  1. Where did you receive your primary; secondary and post-secondary education? 

At the local primary school. My secondary education was at the St. Augustine College, at that time in Tarxien. That was in 1954 when the rector was Fr. Joseph Borg OSA. I ended my schooling by sitting for the G.C.E Oxford exams in July 1960. Around 21 September of that same year, along with two other Maltese youths, I went with Fr. Paul Spiteri OSA to Gozo where, together with Fr. Adeodato Schembri OSA, we started our novitiate under the spiritual direction of Fr. George Bezzina. From the very first day we started living the Augustinian way of life and our very first activity was an annual retreat held at the convent there. I made my first religious profession on 1st October 1961 when Fr. Ugolino Gatt OSA was the Provincial.

  1. When did you feel the call for a vocation with the Augustinians and what brought this about? 

My mother used to say that from my birth I had an Augustinian vocation! This has a historical base. My mother hailed from Valletta and, when still single, used to work with a family that lived in ‘Vincenti Buildings’ right opposite the Augustinian convent in Old Bakery street, Valletta. During the week she used to attend Mass at our Church there. There she came across Fr. Angelo Pizzuto OSA whom she chose as her confessor and spiritual director. One fine day Fr. Angelo came to our home because he had promised my mother that he would consecrate our home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus when I was born. And this is what he did in due course. Thereupon he told my mother: ‘Maria, this child is for us Augustinians.’ And my mother maintains that from that moment I started my Augustinian vocation.

I believe that it was God, my mother and Fr. Angelo who conceived my Augustinian vocation. I was never sorry that my Augustinian vocation came about that way. Today, having experienced an Augustinian way of life for sixty years, I thank God, my parents – because my father supported my mother’s contention - and Fr. Angelo who opened for me the way so that, without my being worthy of this, I have close to my heart the Augustinian charisma in which I was able to grow with the beauty of a Catholic faith - and this through the formation I received in St. Augustin’s teachings and Augustinian spirituality – I matured psychologically and I am happy that I have served, and continue to serve, God, the Church, the Augustinian order and humanity in various countries to which I was sent and in various missions with which I was entrusted by my Superiors.

  1. What do you like doing in your free time? 

As presently I find myself in our Cuba mission and I am very involved principally in teaching Theology at the Faculty of the Seminary and I am also dean of the Department of Philosophy at the Pontifical Institute of Humanity of the city of Havana, a little of my free time is devoted to cooking for my community, especially on Sundays. I also take care of the tropical plants in our convent. Often, I also spend some of my free time correcting my students’ work, taking care of the archives of the Cuban Augustinian Delegation, and accompanying persons entrusted to me for spiritual direction or otherwise preparing the liturgy for Sundays and feasts.

  1. Can you mention an interesting book you read? What was the subject matter? 

It is impossible for me to answer this question. Many were the interesting books that I have read over the years especially on theology and philosophy. More than anything I am interested in all that was written about St. Augustine. This is such a wide area that one can never end discovering new qualities with which St. Augustine was endowed. For over 40 years I have been studying St. Augustine’s writings and I must admit that I always find something new which he wrote or which others have written about him.

  1. Do you have a favourite quotation/saying? 

I will limit myself to two quotations. The first one from Socrates that says: ‘what I know is what I don’t know’. This is a famous quotation because it is the foundation of everything. In fact, anyone who thinks he knows how to stop studying and investigating goes backwards instead of forward. Whoever thinks that he knows enough, misguides himself, develops a superiority complex who is bound to ruin all his knowledge and wisdom.

The second quotation is from the first paragraph of St. Augustine’s ‘Confessions’ where St. Augustine said: ‘O God you made me for yourself and my heart will not rest until it rests in you’. In a world where man has put God aside it is as well that one remembers this as, if modern therapy is an efficient means against itself, nonetheless the strongest therapy that one needs for finding peace and to lead a serene and happy life is to fashion himself on God.


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