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Crucified Christ with a mask: Painting by new priest on ordination commemoration card

Today was a day of joy for the Church in Malta with the ordination this evening of 10 new priests: five diocesans, three Don Bosco Salesians, a Jesuit and a member of the Fokolari Movement. Apart from the young priests, the group includes two men who were married and are fathers of children.

The priestly ordination normally is held at St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, however in order to respect social distancing for the expected gathering, the ceremony was held at the Christ the King parish church in Paola.

In his Homily, Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna told the new priests that they will now take the missionary road and continue with their reconciliation work. He stated that the new priests need to understand their weakness and sins with humility and pray to God to free them from the devil’s deceptiveness and the slavedom of sins. He appealed to them not to fear being close to the people that God sends them to.

TVM met with two of the new priests: one with a science background, the other an artist.

A crucified Christ wearing a mask is the symbol of an ordination commemoration card of 10 new priests. It is the work of one of the priests – Fr David Borg – who is also an artist.

The priests’ ordination was scheduled for the Saturday following Easter Sunday, however it was postponed due to the pandemic. Fr David says that he had already started working on another painting for the occasion.

“Suddenly we were faced with this virus which, although it is silent it created a great congestion. This affected me a bit and made me reflect on our way forward. So this idea came up that Christ is also living with us the present moments of suffering and the challenges we face”, Dr David added.

Dr David painted Christ crucified and dead at the same time, with a reflection on St Paul’s words that “we who die with him, also resurrect with him”. For Fr David, art means the search for beauty. When he started his priesthood, his art changed and became stronger.

“Although my call started from a long-time confession, I always had the wish to become an artist. However, my focus was on technique; when I accepted the call and entered the seminary there was also a change in me as an artist”.

Priesthood is a vocation that attracts persons from different backgrounds. Jesuit Michael Debono, who studied physics and mathematics, says they can assist him in having a dialogue with persons who think in a different way.

“We have a common language; for example I studied science, the creation and the study of nature and the galaxies. One says how can the Creator be away from all this”. Fr Michael said.

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