Extending the Church of Nadur in 1907

 

Pictures of Nadur in the early 1900.

Images courtesy of Mario Muscat and In-Nadur  by Professor  Fr. Alexander Bonnici

ARCHPRIEST DUN MARTIN CAMILLERI

In 1907 Archpriest Martin Camilleri started enlarging the church. He added two aisles, a new facade and a majestic dome. The architect chosen was Francesco Saverio Scortino of Haz-Zebbug, Malta. The artist was Lazzaro Pisani, the sculptor chosen was Paul Falzon and the decorator the Italian Pio Cellini.

THE PARISH ELEVATION

The parish of Nadur was elevated to Archpriest on the 1st. of January 1894. The first Archpriest took the possession of his new title from the Vicar General Dun Ang. Refalo D.D. The parish wasn’t contended enough with just one title, so they requested that the parish will be elevated to collegiate. The request was made to the bishop of Gozo, Mgr. G. M. Camilleri. The parish was elevated to Collegiate on the 19 May, 1895. The parish became Matrix to the new parishes of Our Lady of Loreto in Ghajnsielem and St. Joseph of Qala.

The parishioners of Nadur always wanted the best for their church and in the fifties many problems arose with the church authorities. The Nadurin wanted their parish to be elevated to basilica. In 1958 all the celebrations in Nadur ceased as a protest by the clergy and the parishioners. Finally in April of 1967 the news arrived that Gozo have a new bishop Mgr. Nikol Cauchi. In his pastoral visit to Nadur he told the parishioners that he will do anything within his power to help solve the issue. On Sunday 25 th. June 1967 the bishop received a message from the Vatican that the parish of Nadur was elevated to Basilica Minor. The bishop rang Dun Martin Portelli brother of the archpriest to tell him about the message. The bells of the church started ringing and the Nadurin took to the streets and the town square to start the celebrations. The joy was indescribable. The feast of St. Peter and Paul was celebrated for the first time in nine years, on the 29 th. June, 1967.

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