On Sunday 10th September the Vietnamese Catholic Community in Malta celebrated their first mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Paceville. This was a huge milestone for the small Vietnamese community newly established. Hopefully, in the future, this community will be a place to connect all the families and young Vietnamese Catholics living and studying in Malta to meet and support each other in living the faith and daily life of God’s children far away from families and homeland.

We would like to thank sincerely the Augustinian Community in Paceville for generously opening their arms and welcoming us most warmly with open arms.


On the 28th of August the Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Augustine. Every feast invites us to reflect anew on this great figure who has particularly inspired us Religious in our journey after Christ, and in the same way we wish that he continues to inspire all those who in one way or another wish to share from that holy wisdom with which the Lord adorned Saint Augustine and made him a gift for the Church.

Saint Augustine dreamed of sharing his life with friends, or with his 'brethren', summoning them to continue to seek the Lord together. His call to the pastoral service of the flock came later and the same Augustine accepted it while adapting the lifestyle he was already living with the brethren. In the Rule that highlights the guidelines for religious life, the central motivation that Saint Augustine proposed for those who wanted to live in his footsteps is clear: "the main purpose for which you have gathered together is to live happily together, one heart and one soul in God". So the true joy of one’s heart in Christ does not come primarily from what we accomplish, as much as from the very calling as baptised christians and the continuous commitment in search for God.

I would genuinely like to continue to ask for the intercession of Saint Augustine so that the Lord instills in the heart of each and every one of us the desire to always seek the fullness of who we are, but also in all the choices we have made and will make in life. This helps us to be freer because internally, we are less bound to what brings the immediate gratitude of others, and opens us up to what God wants from us and to the witness that is expected from us as Christians.

We are also living in a society that is becoming more and more sensitive to mental health and thus the need for more support for each other in every area of ​​life. This is also a very important reflection that we should do to recognize first and foremost our reality and our limitations, and then encourage us more to find and give adequate support to each other. Saint Augustine did not hesitate to talk about his limitations as we clearly find in the Confessions, and above all he sought support in friendship and in those he chose to be close to. With them he shared the search, the doubts, but above all he shared the beautiful discovery of Jesus in his life.

Let us really support and help each other to get closer to what gives us true peace of heart and serenity. It is only with this attitude that we can be renewed in the continuous journey that Saint Augustine proposes to us when he tells us that our first aim is to live joyfully and seek God together, and when he reminds us that our hearts will never find peace until they rest in Him. This is the greatest support that a Christian can find in his life!


Fr. Leslie Gatt osa

Prior Provincial

Our journey started 9 months before we flew to the beautiful country of Kenya. In Malta, we planned several fundraising activities to collect money for Amigos missions in Africa. We had countless meetings and a live-in throughout this time in preparation for our mission together.

Soon enough it was time to fly some 2,900 miles to Kenya. Once there, it was impossible not to fall in love with Kenya. The nature was breathtaking. Apart from this, the Kenyans were highly educated and incredibly kind and welcoming. Their faith was also remarkable. They truly knew how to celebrate mass! All the singing and dancing was so soulful that you always left with a smile on your face.

Our primary missions in Kisumu, Ishiara and Mbwiru were to build houses for families in need. One such family needed a new home because their previous house was collapsing due to flooding. The flooding was occasionally so bad that they had to sleep in a tree! Another family consisted of a mother and 3 children all sleeping together in a very small tiny house. The father had passed away recently and with the children growing up, they needed a larger space where to live. Our hearts were filled with satisfaction and love seeing these houses come together. The families reciprocated with boundless gratitude.

When we were not building houses, we were giving out food to some of the poorest, and visiting school children. At the schools, we were welcomed in the warmest ways imaginable. We were treated like royalty, sung to and danced to. Some of the children got to see white people for the first time!

All in all it was an unforgettable experience and our biggest takeaway has been to show gratitude to everyone and for everything we have been blessed with in our lives.

Mariana Grima

On Sunday 20th August, His Excellency Archbishop Charles Scicluna visited for the first time and celebrated mass in the church of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Paceville, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Church building. On that same day, that is on 18 August 1973, the new Church was blessed by the Augustinian Assistant General, who at that time was Fr. Egidio Galea OSA. After the mass, a small reception was held in the convent, where the Archbishop met the residents who frequent this church.

Photos: Archdiocese of Malta

If you had to do it again, would you? This was a question that several people asked me many times since I arrived. My answer will be immediately; "YES!".

I had been listening about this walk or rather this pilgrimage for a few years now. I knew many who done it from various youth groups and I was always tempted, but to be honest it seemed something relatively strange to me; because to walk all that distance (about 120Km in 6 days) with the things you need on your back is not so common. Doing such an experience for the first time on my own would have been difficult and I wanted to find a youth group that I could join and do this experience as a community.

Fortunately, the details of the camino experience from Augustinian Youths reached me. Of course, I have immediately accepted this opportunity so that I accomplish one of my desires and check another thing from the "bucket list". At first it was months away and although I was eager I was not worried about this challenge that there was in front of me. But as soon as the weeks approached I felt like I wasn't ready and I was a little bit scared; I started to realize how much I might not have prepared enough although we had walks, meetings and even live-ins to get to know better the idea of ​​the Camino and doing this experience together as a group.

In the end, although you practice hard, you will never feel the same experience of the Camino. It was something surreal to wake up in the morning and know that you will pass through the countryside, forest, villages and fields. You meet all kinds of greenery, nature and beautiful views. I felt like I was living in a children's storybook, apart from that phrase "Buen Camino", which you and walking people you have never met end up giving you this wish.

In a beautiful scenery we ended up meeting other pilgrims, who were walking with us and over time we started to develop this friendship with each other. People come from every corner of the world, everyone with their own goal and personal experience.

There are many reasons why these pilgrims were doing this walk: there are those who like me, perhaps go for such an experience for curiosity, those who perhaps would like to take it as a personal challenge from the physical aspect. But I think the Camino is capable of surprising you in a way that you are not expecting. Although it was curiosity and the desire to experience something different that helped me say yes to the walk, I wasn't expecting other things.

The Camino can be considered a great metaphor for life. The route includes long walks with steep climbs and descents, stretches of nearly flat ground, smooth and rough terrain.  Forests and even "highways", sun or rain were also part of our walk! Along the way I started to pay attention to what before perhaps did not think about. It will be you and the silence, you and your thoughts. The place will help you reflect and do an examination of conscience and continue to discover what God wants from you.

It was a Pandora's box that was opened during the walk. I allowed myself to get lost in the Camino experience, both physically but also spiritually and mentally. I will never forget the moment when after all those days of walking we arrived at that square in front of the Cathedral of St. James, an indescribable emotion that left me speechless. Joy because we have arrived, after the sacrifice and pain we experienced during the route, but at the same time sadness that the experience has reached its climax. In the end great gratitude to have been one of the pilgrims who experienced the Camino de Santiago.

I would like to encourage those who, even if perhaps out of curiosity, go for it and embark on this unique experience. I am sure it will certainly have an impact on their lives. Finally, I would like to thank especially Fr Terence Spiteri and the Augustinian Youths for the opportunity, for this unforgettable experience. If you want more information on the Camino experience for summer 2024 and other activities you can go to Augustinian Youths facebook/instagram or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ryan D'Amato

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