Recently, Żgħażagħ Ħaddiema Nsara (ZĦN) lost its long-standing chaplain Rev Dr Joe Inguanez, an inspiration to the movement throughout the last 40 years.

Fr Joe was a man of God and respected sociologist with academic degrees from various institutions. He had a keen interest in sociological and philosophical arguments which he applied in his work championing social justice and in fostering a social conscience in our society. Being a scholar at heart he was well read and hence he approached all debates backed by hard honest facts.

He was the living proof of ZĦN’s method of See, Judge and Act, tempering what he read against life experience and sharing his ideas through personal and community action. He imparted a deep sense of duty, a learned approach to debate, and an insatiable urge to fight for social justice especially with the young worker.

Out of a conviction for the common good he never feared controversy. He put his head on the block, whether in political, social, or religious context to call out wrongs. He lived by the words practice what you preach, preach what you practice and expected others to follow.

Above all he was a man of prayer. In the last ZĦN National Council meeting he was very insistent to “never give up to the temptation of giving up on prayer because it feels hollow or futile”.

His is a loss for the nation and the Church. Few people nowadays willingly stick out their necks to shame the glaring abuses in our society. To look their immediate group in the eye and say: “I do not agree with this point of view, it is wrong, it is against our principles as a group or as a nation”. We need stubborn people to stubbornly keep on banging the drum for people to understand that with social justice there are no shades of grey but either totally good or totally wrong.

This sense of mission led Fr Joe to be pivotal in keeping the ZĦN alive in difficult times. He put his energy, notwithstanding his age and health, to get the movement back on its feet to fulfil its goals based on the See Judge Act method.

We mourn the passing away of a great chaplain, an inspiration, a friend. At the same time, we look forward to build on the positive legacy Fr Joe left through his example, hard work and dedication.

Żgħażagħ Ħaddiema Nsara

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