Canon Richard Nazzareno Farrugia, who has been appointed archpriest of Xagħra, was given a warm welcome during a special mass at Xagħra basilica on September 13.
Assisting Fr Farrugia was outgoing archpriest Mgr Carmelo Refalo, who headed the parish of Marija Bambina, one of the largest in Gozo, for 18 years. The appointment became effective on September 14, feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
Fr Farrugia, who is from Xagħra, was born on July 14, 1984. He was ordained priest by then bishop (now cardinal) Mario Grech on June 13, 2009. Fr Farrugia continued his studies at the Pontifical Alphonsian Academy of Rome, where he graduated doctor in moral theology. He also followed a course at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Library in Rome. Fr Farrugia worked at St Ignatius of Antioch parish church, Rome, between 2009 and 2013.
Back in Gozo in 2013, Fr Farrugia was appointed secretary to the bishop, diocesan master of ceremonies and prefect of studies at the major seminary. He was appointed vice rector at the seminary in 2016 and rector a while later. Fr Farrugia is also a lecturer in moral theology at the major seminary and a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta. He is also a member of the Interdiocese Doctrinal Commission and a board member of Dar Ġużeppa Debono.