Mgr José Agius recently led a Mass of Thanksgiving at Munxar parish church on the occasion of the 60th anniversary since he left his native village for Brazil.

Born in Munxar in 1941, he left for Londrina, Brazil, at the age of 20 to proceed with his studies for the priesthood.

The Archdiocese of Londrina, situated in the north of the state of Paraná, was formally established on February 17, 1957, with Mgr Geraldo Fernandez, as its first bishop.

A few years later, Mgr Fernandez visited Malta asking for priests and possibly even seminarians to work in his diocese.

Mgr José accepted the invitation and never looked back. He was ordained priest on July 4, 1965, at Londrina cathedral. Shortly afterwards, he was appointed parish priest of the populous parish of St Joseph in the city of Rolandia, Paraná.

Mgr Agius reminisces that up to 1961 he had hardly ever heard of Brazil and had no idea of the language spoken in that country.

He left Gozo as a missionary in the full sense of the word completely unaware of what awaited him.

However, he never regretted his decision. Until recently, he was parish priest of St Paul parish, the patron saint of his native village of Munxar, a church where he was raised.

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