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Remembering the life of Mgr Carmelo Scicluna (1927-2017)

Remembering the life of Mgr Carmelo Scicluna (1927-2017)“On Sunday afternoon, the second Sunday in Advent, Mgr Carmelo Scicluna, known among the Gozitans simply as ‘Il-Father’ or as Dun Karm tal-Ingliza passed away at the ripe old age of 90 years.

Mgr Scicluna was born in Victoria on the 23rd of November 1927. He was ordained priest in St George’s Parish Church of Victoria on the 19th of June 1951 and celebrated his first Solemn Mass on the 3rd of July 1951.

He studied at the Gozo Lyceum and at the diocesan seminary. After his ordination, from 1952 to 1956 he studied Dogmatic Theology and Canon Law at the Gregorian Pontifical University, obtaining a doctorate in the former and a licentiate in the latter.

While in Rome, he frequented the Bibliotheca Vaticana from where he obtained a diploma in archivistics and another diploma in Library Studies. He served the office of Prefect and headmaster at the seminary, as well as professor of Ascetic Theology.

Mgr Scicluna was also regular confessor at the seminary for sixteen years. He also served as chaplain and spiritual director in various convents in Gozo.

In 1957 the Bishop made him Spiritual Director for government schools. In 1973 he was made Spiritual Director of the Xirka tal-Isem Imqaddes t’Alla; he had been its assistant director since 1959.

Scicluna was also member of the Diocesan Catechetical Commission for seven years. In 1967 he was made Spiritual Director of the then Solidarity of the Daughters of Mary which was established in the Convent of the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Palm Street, Victoria.

He was awarded the honour of ‘chaplain for His Holiness’ on the 25th of February 1976.

When in 1976 Bishop Nicholas J. Cauchi established a college of canons at St George’s, Mgr Scicluna was chosen to be the first Primicerius, one of the offices within the new collegiate.

Mgr Scicluna was spiritual director and confessor of hundreds of people; he was seen spending hours in the confessional at St George’s where many people sought him for both exercises.

He celebrated his ninetieth birthday a few weeks ago. With his reserved but inspiring nature, Mgr Scicluna was a holy priest whose counsel and integrity were renowned everywhere. May God grant him eternal peace!”

His funeral is taking place this afternoon, when Mgr Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo, will preside over a Concelebrated High Mass at St George’s Basilica at 4.00pm.

Fr Geoffrey G Attard,

Gozo