Qala
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QALA
St Joseph Parish Church
Started in 1882 and completed in 1889, it was built by the same architect-priest who built the church of Ghasri, Dun Guzepp Diacono, during the time he was serving as parish priest of Qala. Of baroque style like many other churches on the Maltese islands. It became a parish church in 1872, the first to be established by the newly installed Diocese of Gozo. Until 1889, the seat of the parish church was the small church of the Immaculate Conception. The new church was consecrated in May 1904 and made Archipresbyterial in April 1965. Its titular painting done in 1899 by Giuseppe Cali' is also an object of great devotion. When it was solemnly crowned in 1971, by Cardinal Giovanni Colombo, Archbishop of Milan, two commemorative stamps showing Cali's painting in its original colors were issued by the Maltese Postal Authorities.
Immaculate Conception tal-Hondoq
This Qala chapel is one of the earliest Marian churches on the island. It had been deconsecrated by Mons.Dusina in 1575 and remained abandoned for some years, but by 1615 it was again one of the largest and best kept chapels. Situated near 'Hondoq ir-Rummien' at first it was dedicated to the Assumption. In 1615, Bishop Cagliares donated a new titular picture and changed its dedication. Wheat bread in varying quantities was given out in this chapel to the faithful on the feast of the Assumption. Between 1575 and 1630, the chapel was enlarged and on 28th April 1688, it became the parish church of the eastern part of Gozo, that is Qala, Nadur and Ghajnsielem, for 12yrs. Again it served as the Parish Church of Qala until the new one was built. In the early 1650's, the chapel was enlarged and given a better shape. The devotion of the faithful increased especially after June 17, 1742, when the Governor of Gozo Carlo Federico, Baron of Remching miraculously recovered from a severe stroke after invoking the Immaculate Conception of Qala. This occurrence was witnessed by the Gozitan historian De Soldanis. Consecrated in 1950, the inside was gilded and refurbished in the 1980's. The altarpiece, by Federico Barocci D'Urbino shows God extending His special protection to the Immaculate Conception. The figure of the Virgin Mary was crowned in 1954. This church has a cemetery near it in regular use.
Immaculate Conception Tal-Blat
Breathtaking scenes can be enjoyed from the small courtyard in front of the church known as Il-Madonna tal-Blat - Saint Mary of the Rocks. Built around 1770 half a kilometre away from the other chapel at Qala, this church faces Comino and legend has it that it was built so that the people of that island could follow Holy Mass from across the straits when rough weather precluded a priest from crossing there.It is no wonder that two chapels in honour of the Immaculate Conception were built so close to one another.