Calleja Philip (8.12.1928-)

Founder of Dar L-Emigrant

Calleja was, born in Valletta and studied at the Archbishop's Seminary and at the RUM. He was ordained Priest in 1953. In 1956 he was appointed head of the marriage office at the Curia. in 1979 he was appointed adrninistrative secretary and in 1986 chancellor a post he held until he retired in 1994. He was instrumental in introducing the scheme of remuneration for all priests; acquireing the land where the Dar tal-Providenza operates today; in rehauling the Dar tal-Kleru at Fleur-de-Lys, Saura Home (Rabat), and St Joseph's Home and in the opening of Casa Leone (St Julians). HE was also memeber of the extra-ordinary committee for administrative reform (1980-86), besides other Church and government boards.

Since his priestly ordination, Calleja has always showed particular interest in the lot of Maltese emigrants abroad. He originally founded the Emigration Commission of the Catholic Action and in 1958 he was appointed the first national director of the Catholic Emigration Activities. In 1969 he founded Dar I-Emigrant at Castille Palace, Valletta. In 1980 the archbishop appointed him as his delegate on the secretariat for migrants and tourists.

Calleja was elected treasurer and governing committee member of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), Geneva. In this capacity he attended many international congresses and conducted and participated in official visits to Australia, the Far East, North America, and many countries in Europe.

In 1969 Calleia was chairman of the organizing committee of the Maltese Migrants' Convention and co-secretary of the International Congress 'The World is my parish,' held in Malta. In recent years he has opened several homes to shelter refugees.

In 1971 he was nominated chaplain of the House of Representatives.

In 1986 Calleja was appointed vice-postulator of the beatification and canonization cause of the Venerable Nazjiu Falzon. In 1987 he was present when Pope John Paul 11 declared that the Venerable Nazju Falzon exercised theological and cardinal virtues in a heroic manner.

Calleja was also a member of the general directorate of the Malta Catholic Action and occupied the office of diocesan ecclesiastical assistant for youth and general administrator. In 1960 he was one of the assistant secretaries of the St Paul centenary celebrations and in 1990 he was the organizing secretary of Pope John Paul's visit to Malta. In 1969 he was appointed chaplain of HH the Pope and awarded the medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontefice (PEP). In 1979 he was nominated member of the Cathedral Chapter in 1991 member, Order of Australia (AM); in 1992 member, Nationa Order of Malta (M.Q.M.); and in 1995 chaplain of the Sovereign Order of Malta. (Kt.M.).

Source: Maltese Biographies of the Twentieth Century (1997), editors Michael J. Schiavone and Louis J. Scerri

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