Obituary - Fr Joseph Saliba (1933-2016)
  Fr Joseph Saliba or Dun Ġużepp il-Bejżu as he was known among his folk was born in his native Żebbuġ on the 30th of September 1933. He was ordained priest at the Gozo Cathedral by Bishop Joseph Pace on the 12th of 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 he served as prefect at the Gozo Major Seminary. Bishop Nicholas J. Cauchi made bestowed on him the office of Major Sacristan of his Cathedral Church in Vict6oria 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 served also as chaplain at the General Hospital. He was also administrator, distributor and treasurer for Gozo of the two newspapers Il-Ħajja and Il-Qawmien both of which are not published any longer. Fr Saliba was a humble priest with a the voice of a tenor: he sang with the Gozo Cathedral Choir, the Laudate Pueri Choir of Gictoria and the with 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 great-uncle of my father, with whom he sang the Salve Regina and other pieces at the Gozo Cathedral and in the churches of Gozo.

Fr Saliba’s funeral took place on Monday the 19th of September. His remains were accompanied from the Santa Marija Band Club to the Parish Church at 4.00 pm. Then Archpriest Canon Reuben Micallef led the Evening Prayer together with Fr Joseph Attard who responded with the congregation. Mass was presided by Bishop Mario Grech at 5.00 p.m.

Dear Dun Ġużepp, requiescat in pace!

Written by: Fr. Geoffrey G. Attard.

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