Priests who worked as missionaries in Brazil recently concelebrated Mass in Portuguese at Ta’ Pinu sanctuary. The celebration was meant as a matar saudades (used in Portuguese when you get together with a friend you haven’t seen for a long time).
The concelebration was led by Fr Adeodato Schembri, who spent a long time in Brazil. The other concelebrants were vicar general Mgr Tarcisio Camilleri, who went to Brazil with then Bishop Mario Grech, Fr Salv Vella of Xewkija, Mgr Jimmy Xerri, Nadur archpriest and Fr Alex Cauchi.
During Mass, mention was made of deceased missionaries who worked in Brazil, including Fr Ġużepp Galea, the first Maltese missionary of Sannat, who is buried in a Brazilia church built by himself.
Two missionaries who were missing from Ta’ Pinu were also mentioned: Fr Ġanmari Cauchi, who worked in Brazil for 54 years, and Mgr José Agius of Munxar, who is still in Brazil. Mgr Agius, who celebrated his 80th birthday this month, has been in Brazil for the past 60 years.
Among the congregation were Sr Scholastica Grech and Sr Clementia Borg of the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart, who served in Brazil, lay missionary Leonard Schembri and two couples with a Brazilian wife.
At the end of Mass, many expressed their wish that these gatherings would be held more frequently. They also wished that a community would be set up for Brazilians living in Gozo.
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