A Life of Service

This page carries the stories of how some Maltese Jesuits who are now with the Lord in heaven followed the call to become Jesuits. We also carry some recollections of the late Fr Anthony Debono SJ, one of the pioneers of the Maltese Jesuit Mission among the Santals in India.
Many thanks go to Fr Anton Azzopardi SJ, who kindly put most of these stories together, and for the Jesuits who wrote and shared their experiences with us.


George German SJ

George German was asked to relate the story of his vocation, that is, how he responded to the call of Christ to became a Jesuit. He did not seem quite at ease with that request, and was reluctant to oblige. He only accepted when it was stressed to him that such a narrative, done for the glory of God, might inspire other young men to follow along the same path.


Fr German became Master of Novices (1962-71) and a missionary in Uganda and Kenya (1972-95). He died in Malta in 2015 at the tender age of 95. He continued to be jovial and smiling till the very end


Anton Azzopardi SJ

'Kos ! Ħaġa ta' l-iskantament ! Qatt ma nistgħu nifhmu kif jaħdem il-Mulej li għandu triqat differenti minn tagħna. Ma nistax nifhem għaliex u kif għażel lili ukoll biex inservih bħala Ġiżwita!

Jien bniedem komunissmu bħall-oħrajn...'


Fr Anton Azzopardi, born in Ħamrun in 1925, died at the age of 90 in 2015. He worked for many years in the education sector, including as a Rector of Saint Aloysius' College. 

Further news about his death and his last years as a Jesuit can be found here.


Alfred Pitrè SJ

'When asked to be interviewed about his vocation, Fr Alfred Pitrè, a gaunt nonagenarian at the time of writing, arched his eyebrows rather blankly, half-closed his eyes and his mouth took a slight twist of laughter. "There was absolutely nothing remarkable in my vocation," he blurted, "and now that I am gone over my ninety-fourth year, I feel that what I did and what happened to me in my life lies buried in a blurry and misty past.

     "No it isn't!" I retorted, "It is all written in the Book of Life and we would like to have a glimpse at how your vocation sprouted and grew, not out of curiosity but that we might learn from it." ' 


Born in B’Kara in 1917, Fr Pitrè joined the Society of Jesus in Bagheria, Sicily, at the age of 16. He died aged 96 at our Infirmary in Naxxar, Malta.

Fr Pitrè's obituary can be found here


Henry Schembri SJ

"Oh, no, no, no, Father!" blurted out I who was interviewing Fr Henry Schembri. I could not take it that there was nothing interesting in the story of his vocation. So I stressed, "The story of your vocation must definitely be fascinating, as all such stories are! Do please relate it all to me so that I may tell it to others and we all learn the varied and mysterious ways God uses to draw people to him."...

Read more... 

Fr Schembri died aged 80 in 2013, after thirty years of missionary work in India, twelve years of parish work in England and a number of years in Malta.

Anthony Debono SJ

Here, Fr Lawrence Caruana SJ recalls his encounter with the late Fr Anthony Debono SJ, first pioneer of the Maltese Jesuit Mission among the Santals in India.

When in November 1953, I, Fr Lawrence Caruana, S.J., still a scholastic, was sent to our mission in India, I looked forward to spending some time with and get to know closely the pioneers of our mission: Fr Anthony Debono, Fr Bernard Bugeja, Fr Benjamin Cauchi, Fr Joseph Portelli, Fr John Grech Cumbo and Br Rosario Melito. I did manage to live for some time with each one of them, and I was simply amazed by these marvellous hard working Jesuits full of zeal and courage for planting the Church of Christ in Mission lands. Alas, I missed Fr Giuseppe Cordaro who had died in 1946.....


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