This year, the parish community of Għarb is celebrating the 250th anniversary of being a collegiate. The church was consecrated on September 28, 1755 and became the second collegiate of Gozo on May 19, 1774. It was elevated to the status of a minor basilica on November 28, 1967. To mark this anniversary the parish is holding special celebrations between May 17 and 19.

The festivities open with a celebration for children on May 17. Children will gather at the parish church at 6pm where they will be given an explanation on what being a collegiate means, followed by Mass and a party at the parish centre.

The celebrations will reach a climax on May 19, feast of the Pentecost. The Visitation Band will accompany Cardinal Mario Grech and the Collegiate Chapter from the parish centre to the basilica where Pontifical Mass will be celebrated at 10am. President Myriam Spiteri Debono will lead the congregation. At the end of the celebration, Mgr Grech will place a golden lily at the foot of the titular statue of the Visitation. Gozo Bishop Anton Teuma will lead solemn vespers at 5.45pm, followed by Holy Eucharist Benediction.

L-Għaqda tan-Nar 31 ta’ Mejju will let off fireworks during the morning celebrations. L-Għaqda tal-Armar will decorate the square and nearby streets.

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