Fr Amadeo Zam­mit the first parish priest of Fleur-de-Lys (1938-2016)

Malta Independent - - LETTERS -

On Fri­day 28th Oc­to­ber, on the feast of St Si­mon and St. Jude the Apos­tles, the Lord called our Carmelite brother Fr Amadeo Zam­mit at the age of 78. He was born on 28th Fe­bru­ary 1938 in Msida to Paul and Carmela Zam­mit. A few days later he was chris­tened in the Msida parish church and named Joseph. He at­tended pri­mary school in Msida, and later St Aloy­sius Col­lege in Birkirkara and the col­lege of St Al­bert the Great in Val­letta. When he was 19 he joined the Carmelites and was given the name Amadeo, as was the cus­tom at the time. Fol­low­ing his novi­tiate he made his sim­ple pro­fes­sion on 26th Oc­to­ber 1958 in the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Md­ina.

He stud­ied phi­los­o­phy and the­ol­ogy at the Carmelite Pri­ory in St Ju­lian’s and on 11th Novem­ber 1961 he made his solemn pro­fes­sion. He was or­dained priest on 14th March 1964 by Arch­bishop Michael Gonzi at St John’s Co- Cathe­dral in Val­letta.

He spent the first years of his priest­hood in the Md­ina pri­ory and teach­ing stu­dents at Mount Carmel Col­lege, the Carmelite col­lege, which is now known as Saint Elias Col­lege. In 1969 the Prior Pro­vin­cial, Fr. Ġustin Sant, ap­pointed him his sec­re­tary and per­sonal as­sis­tant. Con­se­quently, he was as­signed to the Pri­ory of Santa Ven­era, where the Prior Pro­vin­cial’s res­i­dence and of­fice was. Dur­ing this time he be­gan pub­lish­ing the bul­letin ’Be­jnietna Karmeli­tani’(Be­tween us Carmelites) that was an in­ter­nal bul­letin for in­for­ma­tion and for­ma­tion of the Prov­ince.

He was ap­pointed for­ma­tor of pos­tu­lants at the Pri­ory of Fleur-de-Lys in 1967, and in 1973 be­came the Prior of this com­mu­nity for three years. Dur­ing this min­istry, he was Pro­vin­cial Di­rec­tor of vo­ca­tions where he worked tire­lessly for new vo­ca­tions, a duty he car­ried out with to­tal love and ded­i­ca­tion.

In 1975, he was ap­pointed the first parish priest of Fleur-deLys where he re­mained un­til 1982, when he was sent to the St. Ju­lian’s Pri­ory as a for­ma­tor of Carmelite stu­dents. When his min­istry ended as stu­dent for­ma­tor, Fr Amadeo com­mit­ted him­self wholly to the ‘Lun­z­jata project’ which can be said was his life’s dream. Dur­ing the time he spent as Di­rec­tor un­til 2015, he worked tire­lessly to re­store the old Pri­ory, the very first Carmelite Pri­ory in the lim­its of Rabat, Malta and built a re­treat house in the same area. Fr Amadeo be­lieved that this tran­quil place was most suited to the con­tem­pla­tive Carmelite life.

In the Pro­vin­cial Chap­ter of 1991, Fr Amadeo was ap­pointed parish priest of Fgura where he re­mained un­til 1997 when he was cho­sen to be the Prior Pro­vin­cial of the Mal­tese Carmelite Prov­ince. For sev­eral years he was also Pro­vin­cial Coun­sel­lor and ed­i­tor of the Carmelite mag­a­zine ‘IlKarmelu’.

In 2006, Arch­bishop Joseph Mer­cieca ap­pointed Fr Amadeo as his del­e­gate to the Mem­bers of In­sti­tutes of Con­se­crated Life. He served in this min­istry for five years where he was loved by all re­li­gious, es­pe­cially the clois­tered nuns.

Fr Amadeo spent the last 13 years of his life in the pri­ory of the old church of Santa Ven­era where he was prior twice. De­spite his du­ties as prior, he also found time to man­age the House of Prayer ‘Lun­z­jata‘. How­ever, last Fe­bru­ary while pre­par­ing to cel­e­brate Sun­day Mass in Lun­z­jata, he suf­fered a heart at­tack. Af­ter spend­ing some time in hospi­tal and con­va­lesc­ing in his pri­ory, he be­gan to re­cover steadily, so much so that he went back to cel­e­brat­ing Mass and hear­ing con­fes­sions, which he did up to the eve of his death.

His fu­neral was held on Mon­day 31 Oc­to­ber in the parish church of Santa Ven­era where Mass was cel­e­brated by his brother Fr Fran­cis Zam­mit S.D.B to­gether with a num­ber of priests. He was buried in the ceme­tery of Santa Mar­ija Ad­do­lorata in the grave of the Mal­tese Carmelite Prov­ince.

Let us pray for our brother who worked tire­lessly for new vo­ca­tions. Many can in fact at­tribute their priestly and re­li­gious vo­ca­tions to him.

Fa­ther Her­mann Dun­can O.Carm Bal­luta

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