The funeral of Gozo’s oldest priest took place this afternoon
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The funeral took place late this afternoon of Mgr Edward Bondì Dalli, the oldest priest in the Gozo diocese. Dun Dward as he was commonly known, died on Tuesday morning at his family residence in Fortunato Mizzi St, Victoria, aged 97. He spent most of his lifetime serving Bishop Mgr Giuseppe Pace as his personal chaplain and closest collaborator.
Dun Dward was ordained on July 31, 1938 and was a member St George’s Basilica Pasrish clergy. In his early years of priesthood he helped Dun Pawl Micallef with catechism lessons at the Oratorju Don Bosco.
When Mgr Joseph Pace, also a priest from St George’s parish, became Bishop of Gozo in 1944, he chose him to be his chaplain. Many old photos of that period show his tall figure flanking Bishop Pace almost in every activity and celebration he was invited to preside. In recognition of his sterling service at his side for almost thirty years, Bishop Pace nominated Dun Dward an honorary member of the Cathedral Chapter.
Mgr Bondì Dalli often frequented St George’s Basilica for daily liturgy, even in his old age. His presence there, especially as a confessor and for the celebration of daily Mass, was regular. Despite of his hearing impairment, he was endowed with one of the finest qualities: he knew well how to listen to the other person. He was also a man who appreciated God’s beauty in nature: in fact he was very much in touch with it, especially through his love for agricultural life. Last month, Mgr Bondì Dalli celebrated his 73rd anniversary of priesthood.
Following the cortège which left from St James at Independence Square to St George’s Basilica, H.L. Mgr Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo, presided over a Concelebrated High Mass.