|First Centenary festivities.|
|During the tenure of Fr.Joseph Pace as pastor of St.Cajetan parish Hamrun, that is in the year 1981, the church celebrated the first centenary of its inception as parish.
Fr.Pace, wanting to do everything the right way and give everyone a chance for input, called a meeting of those people who deserved to be involved on the 1st July 1980 with more than a year before the actual date giving ample time for preparations. At this meeting he announced his intentions to form a central committee with another five sub committees reporting to it. He headed the central committee as president and the sub committees covered the areas of: 1.Secretariat and Publicity; 2.Finances; 3.Mission; 4.Cultural and Civic and 5.Liturgical celebrations and Outside festivities.
All groups and authorities were represented as for example when the religious groups had representation in the Mission sub committee and both band clubs were represented in the Cultural, Civic and Festivities sub committees. Even the Education Department of Malta had its representative in the Cultural / Civic sub committee while every particular area of Hamrun sent representation in the Liturgy and Outside festivities section.
|The Central Committee usually met on Tuesdays and the sub committees then reported what work had been done. The main committee met more than 18 times in all. It was decided to spread out the festivities in three weeks starting on Saturday 15th November 1981 and concluding on Sunday 6th December, the actual day of the centenary being Tuesday 1st December 1981.
Standing Far Right of picture: Dun Frans Camilleri
Sitting Middle: Pastor J.Pace and Fr.Jos.Cachia.
|The actual program had been printed and nearly everyone was happy with the spread of events that were going to take place. But the worries of the committees were not over yet because the government, out of the blue, announced a date for general elections that was going to clash with the festivities. Actually the problem was not the date itself but the attitudes still fomenting in Hamrun at the time.
The antagonism between the two bands had not been settled yet. From its beginning, each band had affiliated itself to a political party and the two bands found themselves on opposite sides. The Pastor in his wisdom did not want any catastrophic end to all festivities, so in the light of the situation, within the Central Committee he decided to drop those events where the bands were involved especially activities that involved passing in festive manner in front of each club playing marches. Incidents used to crop up every feast day while this was happenning, some even involving the police force... Not this time... The committee even cancelled the procession with the incoming relics that had to pass in front of premises of the band clubs.
|Centenary Program Cover|
|The program otherwise went quite smoothly especially with the inside Liturgy celebrations. The first week was dedicated to the Spiritual aspect, presenting a modern style mission among the parishioners. On the opening day, a procession with the Blessed Sacrament was held starting from the parish church of the Immaculate Conception to the St.Cajetan parish church where after opening speeches, a concelebrated Mass by all the local clergy was held. The statue of St.Cajetan was taken out of its niche and placed in its festive place. The rest of the week there were Masses with the individual parish groups, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Saturday 21st, being the feast of the Presentation of Mary, the old Icon was brought down from Atocia church to St.Cajetan for the veneration of the population. The Sunday solemn feast of Christ the King saw a manifestation of faith in a procession involving most every group in Hamrun.
The second week was dedicated to the Civic aspect with all kinds of social and cultural occasions like indoor sports tournaments in the clubs, a slide show and a quiz about the history of the parish and also in the Oratory, an exhibition of past experiences of the town. A special Mass was celebrated with special emphasis and sermons on Marriage and modern attitudes while another Mass concentrated on the penitential rite. On Sunday the 29th, the Relics of St.Cajetan arrived from Italy with the Theatine Superior general Fr.Tucci and Fr.Giugliani from Naples. The relics which consisted of a letter in the actual handwriting of the Saint, one of his molar teeth and a piece of his walking stick, were to be received in pomp and procession but as stated, the entry was subdued though solemn.
The Liturgical aspect was emphasized in the third week, and on the first day a new Baptistry was inaugurated. On Tuesday the 1st December which was the actual Centenary day, a concelebrated Mass with the Archbishop and priests of the parish was held. Among dignitaries present was the President of the Republic of Malta Anton Buttigieg.
|After Mass a Te Deum was sung in thanksgiving. Next day was a concelebrated Mass with the pastors of the Parishes from which Hamrun sprang and also of those which came out of it namely: Birkirkara, Qormi and Floriana. Sta Venera, Marsa, Kuncizzjoni and Gwardamangia. There was also a huge reception in a hall which facilities were donated by the owner for the occasion. Liturgy also took the form of First Communion, Confirmation and a special Mass for the sick of the parish.|
|On the 6th December, closing celebrations were held inside the church. An 8.00am Folk Mass for youth was celebrated and another Solemn Pontifical Mass at 8.45am with the Hamrun Choir singing. But the closing Mass at 5.00pm brought many a tear to the eyes of those present. All the priests of the parish concelebrated with Fr.Tucci and Fr.Giugliani, then the relics were brought to the altar and a solemn hymn of thanksgiving sung. After a blessing with the relics, the Theatines paused in front of St.Cajetan statue (see picture further down) before exiting from the church on their way back home.|
|Molar tooth Relic||Handwritten Letter||Cane Relic|
QUAERITE PRIMUM REGNUM DEI
ET IUSTITIAM EIUS
ET HAEC OMNIA ADICIENTUR VOBIS
|Relics pause in front of Statue|