Mgr Joseph Farrugia made a Member of the National Order of Merit
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Each year on Republic Day, the President, on Republic Day, pays public tribute to a number of Maltese citizens by appointing them to ‘The National Order of Merit’ or to the ‘Xirka gieh ir-Repubblika,’ or by awarding them the ‘Midalja ghall-Qadi tar-Repubblika.’
Mgr Joseph Farrugia, of Victoria, Gozo was made a Member of the National Order of Merit.
This year’s Investiture Ceremony took place this morning at The Palace, immediately following the customary Ceremonial Parade held at St George’s Square.
In her speech the President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said that, “a strong democracy depends upon the people having the necessary knowledge, to fully participate in fostering the common good.
The process of constitutional reform will be an exercise in participation, for all of the people who wish to be included.”
“Nobody will be excluded, because the Constitution is a legitimate instrument for everybody, and all of our people must feel encouraged to make their contributions, to render our Constitution more relevant in today’s world,” she added.
“I urge all of us to seize this historical moment, and to make constitutional reform an educational exercise and a democratic participative process, as one united people,” the President said.
The President also touched on the subject of social media, saying, “I urge those who use social media, to be respectful in the way they communicate their diverse views.
“I also urge all of those who are in public life to continue to be measured and respectful in the ways that they use such means of communication, because it is their responsibility to set a good example,” the President said.
Mgr. Joseph Farrugia, born in Victoria, Gozo, was educated in state schools, and studied philosophy and theology at the Sacred Heart Seminary.
In 1978, Mgr. Farrugia was ordained priest and continued his postgraduate studies at the Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana, Rome, where he obtained a Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology and a Doctorate in Theology.
In 1983, he joined the academic staff of the Sacred Heart Seminary, and in 1988 he joined the Faculty of Theology at the University of Malta. He introduced a university evening course in Christian theology of Suffering, and was active at the University of the Third Age, both in Malta and Gozo.
In 1992, Mgr. Farrugia was involved in the setting up of the University Gozo Campus, where he gave the very first course in Mediterranean civilisations and religions. He also served as archpriest of St George’s Basilica in Victoria between 1998 and 2007.
Mgr. Farrugia has been deeply involved in the promotion of Gozo’s culture. He is the founder of the renowned Laudate Pueri Choir, and he also collaborated in the launching of the Victoria International Arts Festival.
He co-founded the Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria that created the Il-Hagar Museum, the first interactive and state of the art museum in Gozo and has set up many monumental inscriptions honouring Gozitan events and eminent personalities.
Mgr. Farrugia is chaplain to the Victoria Scout Group and to the La Stella Philharmonic Society.
Following an appeal for priests, he is currently working as vicar in four parishes, and also as replacement priest in another parish of the diocese of Arles and Aix-en-Provence, France. Mgr. Farrugia is also Prelate of Honour to His Holiness.
Photograph: DOI/Jason Borg