Parish Priests
  The first parish priest Dun Frangisk Vella was installed on the 10th June 1689; he had already been vicar in the old church of the Immaculate Conception. He died enjoying the fame of sainthood on the 27th October 1743 at the age of 82 – from these; he had spent 54 years as parish priest. His mortal remains are still revered in the chapel of the Immaculate Conception. The old and precious painting which is in the same chapel where he lies buried was very much to his heart. He left all he owned to the church and to other benefices of charity.

The second Parish Priest was chosen by Bishop Alpheran de Bussan; the choice fell on Dun Vincenz Tabone. He was installed on the 10th January 1744. He remained at the helm of the parish until he died. Dun Vincenz died on the 6th November 1765. He was buried in the Parish Church. During the 21 years of his tenure as parish priest he did his best to embellish the parish church and to be of service to his parishioners.

The third Parish Priest was Dun Guzepp Speranza. He was installed on the 25th of March 1766. He remained parish priest for 41 years. He died on the 17th April 1807 at the age of 78 years.

The fourth parish priest was Dun Karlu De Giovanni Inglott. He hailed from Senglea (Isla); he was originally a Capuchin friar. He was chosen in 1808 by Bishop Ferdinando Mattei. He led the parish until the 29th October 1816. Later on he was made parish priest of Zurrieq in Malta. De Giovanni Inglott was parish priest for eight years. He died at the age of 90 in his native Senglea on the 29th November 1858.

The fifth parish priest was chosen by Bishop Mattei. Dun Nikola Spiteri was installed as parish priest of Zebbug on the 6th July 1817. He remained parish priest until the 2nd of September 1828. The Bishop sent him to become parish priest of Nadur where he remained until he died on the 19th of October 1853. He was parish priest for eleven years.

The sixth parish priest was Dun Mikiel Grima; he was installed on the 24th February 1829. He led the parish priest for nine years. He died on the 31st December 1838 at the tender age of 50. He was buried in the parish church.

The seventh parish priest was Dun Guzepp Hili and was installed on the 3th August 1840. He remained in office for 22 years. During his time as parish priest, the two paintings in the sanctuary of the church were commissioned; they depict the Nativity and the Presentation of the Virgin respectively. The damask of the church was also commissioned while he was parish priest. After he left Zebbug, he was installed canon of the Gozo Cathedral Church.

The eight parish priest hailed from Nadur; it was Bishop Gaetano Pace Forno who chose Dun Gwann Camilleri to be the parish priest of Zebbug. He was installed on the 8th of March 1863. He will always be remembered as one of the most significant of Zebbug’s parish priests because it was he who commissioned what was to be the titular statue of Saint Mary for the Parish of Zebbug. The Assunta of Zebbug is the third titular statue of Gozo and therefore the first statue of the Assumption for the island of Gozo. Dun Gwann, as he was known, remained in Zebbug for only two years; later on he became the parish priest of Nadur.

Dun Bartilmew Busuttil was the ninth parish priest of Zebbug. This time it was the first bishop of the newly-erected diocese of Gozo who installed him as parish priest since Gozo had become a diocese in its own right in September 1864 by Blessed Pope Pius IX with Dun Frangisk Mikiel Buttigieg as the first bishop of the new diocese. Busuttil hailed from Ta’ Sannat and became parish priest in 1866. He remained in office for 52 years. Busuttil died on the 16th July 1918.

The tenth parish priest was Dun Anton Grima of Victoria. Grima hailed from a family of priests and the family was known among Gozitans simply as Ta’ Guliermu. He remained in office from 1918 to 1920 because in 1920 the Bishop sent him to Xewkija. While he was parish priest of Zebbug, the statues of the Passion were commissioned; they were made by the renowned statuary Wistin Camilleri.

Dun Michelangelo Cauchi was the eleventh parish priest. He had already some experience since he was parish priest of Qala. He was installed in Zebbug in November 1920 and at the beginning of his time in Zebbug, Ghasri was made a parish thus making the Zebbug Parish a Matrice Church. In 1922 the remains of Saint Fortunatus Martyr which were once the property of the family of Maltese politician Fortunato Mizzi were given by the Mizzi Family to the Parish. A translation of relics was made which came out of St George’s Parish in Rabat and brought processionally to the Zebbug parish church. Cauchi also commissioned the church organ, the main bell of the church and other projects. He also began the building of the parish cemetery. The Cemetery was blessed in 1935. In 1937 a new project was launched – the enlargement of the parish church. After he left Zebbug, he became parish priest of Xaghra.

The twelfth parish priest was Dun Frangisk Mercieca from Fontana. He was installed on the 22nd May 1938. In 1963 the parish was given the honour of the arcipretura through his work and so Dun Frangisk became the first parish priest of Zebbug to be called “archpriest”. The document with the new designation came from Rome. Mercieca remained at the helm of the parish until his death on the 27th of November 1964. He oversaw the making of the new altar and the new sanctuary; both were made in marble. Mercieca was 74 years old when he died. He was buried in the parish cemetery and he was thus the first parish priest of Zebbug to be buried there. After a few days, the chapel of the cemetery was built and his remains were transported there.

The thirteenth parish priest was Dun Alwig Vella, a nephew of Dun Frangisk. He was installed as parish priest on the 8th of December 1964, Solemn Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Archpriest Alwig Vella continued to embellish the parish church of Zebbug. He remained parish priest until he retired in 1996 when on the 29th of September of that year, Fr. Noel Saliba, a priest from the parish who was ordained a few years before was chosen by Bishop Nikol G. Cauchi to become Dun Alwig’s successor. Canon. Noel Saliba oversaw the restoration works on the organ of the church and also the old tuzzell which is used during the kwindicina as part of the festivities of Saint Mary.
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