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Churches

 
The First Church
In 1788 a certain Klement Busuttil, one of the early inhabitants of modern il-Fgura, sent a petition to Grand Master de Rohan to build a chapel on the same site of the niche that held the Icon of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Permission was granted and the chapel was finished by 1790. It was very well kept, and the people of the environs were very proud of it.

 Twenty years later, in 1810, Bishop Mattei gave permission to celebrate Mass in the chapel. In 1842 Dun Salv Busuttil, who was Klement’s nephew, enlarged it by adding a sacristy to it.
The devotion of the people of il-Fgura to Our Lady of Mount Carmel dates from time immemorial. With time, the people in the neighbourhood became more zealous, and soon the chapel became too small.
After having obtained some land from the Dominican Friars of Vittoriosa, Dun Salv Busuttil applied to the Colonial Government to be given permission to demolish the chapel and build a new and larger one in its place. The land on which the chapel was built was Government property. The Government was willing to sell him the land, and permission was granted to build a larger and more comfortable chapel. Work on the new chapel, under the direction of Architect Indrì Vassallo, was finished in 1844. It was solemnly consecrated ten years later by Vicar General Vincent Chapelle

 Responsibility of the chapel passed from one to the other in the same Busuttil family. All of them administrated it very well, providing as best they could for the spiritual needs of the people. Then in 1945, responsibility passed into the hands of Dun Ġużepp Zerafa, a priest who for seven years, rain or shine, used to come over from Paola to celebrate Mass every day.
During the Second World War the area, being so near to H.M.’s Dockyard, was heavily bombed by the enemy, and the chapel sustained some damage. Because of this, when the war ended the chapel was given a face-lift.
After the war il-Fgura became a fashionable place to live in, because it offered a more quiet and greener environment when compared to that in the surrounding towns. Houses began to mushroom all over, and the Labour Government, in 1955, felt the need to widen the road that took from Paola to Ħaż-Żabbar (Città Hompesch). The chapel was right in the middle of this road, and it had to be demolished and make way for this development. As a memento the people of il-Fgura built a new niche only a couple of metres away from the spot.
The Arrival of the Carmelite Friars
The Order of Carmelite Friars came to Malta in 1418, even before the arrival of the Knights of Malta. They settled at “Il-Lunzjata”, limits of ir-Rabat. From there they went to L-Imdina (Città Notabile) and, when il-Belt Valletta (Città Umilissima) was built, they erected a Basilica and convent there.
They knew well-enough about the deep devotion that the people of il-Fgura had for Our Lady of Mount Carmel. So, in 1945, they sent a small community of three monks and a brother to cater for the spiritual needs of the inhabitants of our village. They settled in a rented house in St. Simon Street, and they took upon themselves the responsibility to administer the old chapel, until it was demolished ten years later.
As soon as they set foot in il-Fgura, the Carmelite Friars started to look for some land where to build a new church to cater for the then increasing population.
The Parish Church
Anglu Camilleri and his wife Marianna offered them a piece of land where to construct a new church and a convent. The Carmelites lost no time, and they started work immediately. Architect Ġużé D’Amato drafted the plans, which were approved, and work began.
In 1948 H.G. Mgr. Michael Gonzi, Archbishop of Malta, blessed the laying of the first stone. The church was ready in just two years. It was inaugurated on the 19th November 1950, in the presence of Dr. Enrico Mizzi, Prime Minister of Malta, and blessed, again, by H.G. Mgr. Michael Gonzi, Archbishop of Malta.
Now il-Fgura had its full-size church. But the inhabitants still depended on the Parish church of Ħal Tarxien for many essential spiritual services. This situation ended on the 21st January 1965, when H.G. Mgr. Michael Gonzi, Archbishop of Malta, issued a Decree by which a parish church was established in il-Fgura. The first kappillan was Fr. Timoteo Azzopardi, O.Carm.
As years went by, however, Fgura expanded in all four directions, to touch Bormla (Città Cospicua), Ħaż-Żabbar (Città Hompesch), Paola and Ħal Tarxien. Not many years passed when it was evident that the church, which had been built not too long before, was fast becoming inadequate and small. So the Carmelite Friars had to do some thinking again, and pray for the help of God and the generosity of the people.
Some land was bought which was at the back of the existing church. The Carmelite Friars soon engaged Architect Victor Muscat Inglott to draw plans for a new church. The architect was to be aided by Mr. Karm. Parascandolo, who had some experience in construction. The church was to have an architecture which is very unusual for the Maltese Islands.
Work on the new church started on the 2nd January 1976. It was entrusted to the hands of Architect Godfrey Azzopardi. Architect Edward Micallef entered for the second phase and finished off the project in 1988.
The new church was solemnly inawgurated and blessed by H.G. Mgr. Ġużeppi Mercieca, Archbishop of Malta, on the 25th May of the same year.
Parish Church Madonna tal-Karmnu l-Fgura - Hompesch Street, Il-Fgura
Parish Office
Wesgħa Reggie Miller
Il-Fgura
Telephone Parish Priest : 21805756
                         Fax : 21802992
Convent Telephone : 21827900, 21661745