Dingli celebrates the feast of The Assumption and the decree it is now an Archdiosese
Dingli parishioners are celebrating a double feast; the feast of The Assumption and an unexpected decree by Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna that the parish is now an Archdiosese.
The decree was much longed for but the announcement unexpected. On Saturday evening the Archbishop surprised the congregation by declaring Dingli as an Archdiosese. The decree was granted because the Dingli Church was one of the first ten parishes in Malta before 1436 when the area was then known as Ħal Tartarni. This was recorded in the document drawn up by Bishop Senatore de Mello, a notarial document which records the income of ecclesiastic entities or donations in Malta. From that time onwards only the Dingli parish has never been declared an Archdiocese.
On Sunday morning, the parish priest – now an Archpriest – Father Eucharist Zammit, said the decree recognised the old Christian roots of the people of Dingli. He said the decree was recognition of the people’s devotion and love for the Church. The Dingli church has no employees but willing volunteers who show their devotion to God and generously give their services willingly and without seeking financial reward. The new title meant added responsibility because the devoted must remember that their greatest attribute was their faith built on a love of God and therefore a church where all must act as bretheren and as one family.
The Dingli feast is a relatively small one and is not devoted to liturgical ceremonies or boisterous external activities but the parishioners seek ways and means of helping families in need or missionary causes.
The work of Dingli-born Father George Scerri has been especially recognised this year to commemorate his 47-year work as a missionary in Peru. When in Malta Father Scerri enthusiastically stresses the help he receives in Peru from Dingli parishioners and other Maltese donations. He is quoted as saying that such help generates happiness and aids people and makes all his work in the Peruvian mountains and valleys worth it because this is the true meaning of evangelisation.
Father Scerri is currently in Malta to celebrate the 50th year of his consecration as a priest in the Missionary Society of St Paul.