Fr Lino Cardona SJ (pictured right)
The Premju Mikiel Azzopardi is given yearly for the past twelve years. It is in memory of Mgr. Dun Mikiel Azzopardi, founder of the Dar tal-Providenza, the Residential Homes for Persons with Disability in Siggiewi. The home was opened in 1965 and to date is the only residential home in Malta. Among the recipients of the Premju in past years, are The Hon.Dr.L.Gonzi, Maltese PM, Mr.Joe Camilleri, President of the National Commission for Persons with a Disability.
December 1st. is celebrated worldwide as the Day dedicated for Persons with Disability. This year happens to be the European Year for Volunteering.
Fr. Lino Cardona, together with Mrs. Blanche Mifsud and Mrs. Verzin, was one of the nominees for the Prize. The ceremony took place at the Radisson Hotel in St.Julians under the patronage of HG Archbishop Paul Cremona. Many distinguished guests attended, amongst whom was HE President Emeritus, Dr. E.Fenech Adami as well as the Jesuit Provincial Fr.Paul Pace, S.J.
Fr.Lino has been a familiar face at the Homes since 1975. It was by cheer chance that Fr.Lino embarcked on this task which saw him through these many years. In the summer of '75, Mgr. Azzopardi asked him to replace him at the Homes for the month of August. Monsignor was a world trotter, giving conferences and meeting Maltese migrants especially in the US and Canada to raise funds for the Homes. He used to spend the month of August in Banneux. This place is the scene of an Apparition by Our Lady in 1933 to a youngster Marianne Beco. The place, in Belgium, is very close to Liege and on the border with Germany, very close to Aachen (Aix la Chapelle).During troubled years these place would be either under German or Belgian rule.
And that was it. Fr. Lino has taken up the challenge and has been there ever since. Officially he is the Pastoral Facilitator of the Homes being nominated by Archbishop Mercieca. Come rain or high waters, you'll find Fr.Lino there, especially on Wednesdays, Sundays and on Public holidays. Plus when the directors are unable to be present or are away from the Island.