Fr Joseph Sal­iba (1933-2016)

Malta Independent - - LETTERS -

Fr Joseph Sal­iba or Dun Ġużepp il-Be­jżu, as he was known to his peo­ple, was born in Żeb­buġ on 30th Septem­ber 1933. He was or­dained priest by Bishop Joseph Pace at the Gozo Cathe­dral on 12th April 1959. After a short pas­toral ex­pe­ri­ence in Canada, Fr Sal­iba was called by his bishop to serve as pre­fect of dis­ci­pline at the Mi­nor Sem­i­nary and later on as pre­fect at the Gozo Ma­jor Sem­i­nary. Bishop Ni­cholas J. Cauchi ap­pointed him Ma­jor Sacristan of his Cathe­dral Church in Vic­to­ria where he served for more than 28 years. Dur­ing this pe­riod he was also one of the most sought after con­fes­sors in Vic­to­ria. Fr Sal­iba was also ‘choir chap­lain’ at the Cathe­dral Church of St Mary’s and also served as chap­lain at the Gen­eral Hospi­tal. He was also ad­min­is­tra­tor, dis­trib­u­tor and trea­surer for Gozo of the two news­pa­pers Il-Ħa­jja and IlQawmien, both of which are no longer pub­lished. Fr Sal­iba was a hum­ble priest who had the voice of a tenor: he sang with the Gozo Cathe­dral Choir, the Lau­date Pueri Choir of Vic­to­ria and with the Żeb­buġ Par­ish Or­ches­tra. He also wrote a num­ber of po­ems. Although quite a re­served priest, Fr Joseph Sal­iba was af­fa­ble and easy to be­friend. Al­ways car­ry­ing a beau­ti­ful smile, Fr Sal­iba was loved by one and all! Ev­ery time I met him, both when he was in good health and even lately when he bore his ill­ness with courage and de­ter­mi­na­tion, he spoke to me about his friend­ship with the late Mgr Tarċisju Gatt, a grea­tun­cle of my fa­ther, with whom he sang the Salve Regina and other pieces at the Gozo Cathe­dral and in the churches of Gozo.

Re­qui­escat in pace Dun Ġużepp!

Fr Ge­of­frey G At­tard Vic­to­ria Gozo

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