On the occasion of Fr Francis Xavier Tabone Adami’s death on June 22 in the city of Apucarana, Brazil, a short homage is due to a much beloved priest who dedicated all his life, precisely all his adult life, to the people of God in Brazil.

Tabone Adami, born in Gżira on March 18, 1939, was ordained priest on April 7, 1962, and by the end of the same year was in the diocese of Londrina, southern Brazil, to work as a missionary.

He started working in the parish of Rolândia, distinguishing himself as father spiritual of many people, especially the nuns of the Gozo-founded Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus. The partitioning of the diocese of Londrina in 1965 found him working in the parish of Sabaudia, which passed to the newly-installed diocese of Apucarana, where he worked as parish priest of the cathedral in Apucarana (1966-1972) and of the nearby town of Cambira (1972-2020).

On a diocesan level, Fr Francis was appointed vicar general of the diocese in 1984, a post held up to 2011. In the 1980s he was already the coordinator of the diaconate for all the dioceses in the state of Paraná. Following suggestions by Vatican II, the courses for laymen with a vocation for the diaconate were given twice a year in different dioceses and they were the foundation stone for a novel way at serving the Church and empowering the laity. One may now perceive this highly relevant service working in all the dioceses of the state of Paraná, the result of God’s work through Fr Francis.

Silent, humble, inconspicuous, traditionally minded, he laboured for the Church ad intra till disease impaired his ongoing services to the Church, enduring hemodialysis three times a week, with a general weakening of his health.

Perhaps it’s not preposterous to quote Shakespeare in this context: “He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.”

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