Fr Joseph Saliba (1933-2016)
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