Annual Pilgrimage to Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary
The Maltese Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta very successfully organised its annual national pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu on Saturday, 7th October 2017.
100 residents of St. Vincent de Paule Residential Home for the Elderly, 75 of whom were wheelchair-bound, and further 20 patients from Mt. Carmel Hospital, along with a number of their carers, were invited to join Members and Volunteers in pilgrimage from Malta to this unique Marian Shrine in Gozo.
All participants, none of whom were deterred by the prevailing strong winds and rough seas, gathered in the early morning at the Cirkewwa terminal for special boarding on an extra ferry service at 0915. The spirit of pilgrimage continued at Mgarr, where the group was greeted by a police escort.
At the Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary, the group which travelled from Malta was joined by a further 20 elderly persons from the Gozo Hospital, St. Anne’s Residence and Arka Foundation together with their own respective carers.
The President of the Maltese Association, Marchesino Daniel de Petri Testaferrata, led the Members of the Order of Malta as well as the Volunteer who attended this event.
Holy Mass was celebrated by His Lordship Mgr. Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo, whilst the Principal Chaplain of Maltese Association Mgr. Lawrence Gatt, the Chaplain of the St. Vincent de Paule Residence Rev. Fr. Ivan Scicluna and the Rev. Fr. George Vella concelebrated. The Laudate Pueri Choir, under the direction of Mgr. George Frendo, provided the music and singing during the liturgical celebration.
After Mass, the four additional wheelchairs as well as the defibrillator which the Order of Malta Volunteers in Gozo, with the assistance of the Association, had recently donated to the Rector of the Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary, were officially presented at a brief ceremony addressed by the President and His Lordship.
A group photograph was then taken in brilliant sunshine on the new parvis of the Shrine, following which Our Lords the Sick and the Elderly were driven to Villa Fiorita in Marsalforn, where a hearty lunch was served in a festive atmosphere which also saw some of our guests sing a few numbers and even take to the dance floor.
The Maltese Association wishes to thank all Members and Volunteers who attended, and in particular the Order of Malta Volunteers in Gozo for organising the programme in the Gozo, Fr Gerard Buhagiar Rector of Ta` Pinu Sanctuary, the Laudate Pueri Choir under the direction of Mgr. George Frendo, the personnel of the various hospitals and residences who accompanied our special guests in particular Mr. Ron Zaffarese of St. Vincent de Paule Residence, the guitarists in attendance who provided the merriment at the lunch venue, the Gozo Channel Line and the Police Force for providing escort for the vehicles
which conveyed Our Lords the Sick and the Elderly.