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Rev. Fr. Carmel Attard, SDB (1911-2005) Oldest Salesian Missionary in India Dies.
Guwahati: (BIS) Father Carmel Attard, the seniormost Salesian of Don Bosco in India, died in Shillong, Meghalaya, 19 November.   94-year old.   Fr. Attard was born at Nadur, Gozo, Malta, and came to India in 1933.

He served as an educator and missionary in several parts of India, including Mumbai, Tirupattur in Tamil Nadu and Northeast India. He spent more than six decades of his   life   in Meghalaya’s Khasi and Jaintia   Hills as a pioneer educator and missionary. He had a great mastery of the Khasi language, besides Tamil, English, Italian and his native Maltese language.

Fr. Attard joined the Salesian Society in his native country, Malta, in 1933, and a year later   arrived in   India as a missionary at the age of 22. He spent 72 years in India serving the people of this country. He pioneered education and missionary work and founded innumerable primary and high schools, parishes and mission centres in Meghalaya. In 2000, the people of his town chose Fr. Attard as the ‘Honourable Man of Nadur, Malta’ , and held a celebration in his honour.


An able administrator, educator and missionary, Fr. Attard was gifted with a great sense of humour, oratorical skills and love for sports. Though he raised a lot of funds for the education and welfare of   the people, he himself led a frugal and simple life. Fr. Attard was an indefatigable   worker and continued to do till recently when old age and illness made it difficult for him to work. A man of outstanding spiritual qualities, he was much sought after by people.

Salesian Archbishop Dominic Jala of Shillong presided over a requiem Mass for Fr. Attard’s   at the Shillong Cathedral. He called Fr.Attard a tireless missionary and a great son of Don Bosco. He recalled the dedication and love with which he served the people. Thousands of people from various parts of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills, hundreds of clergy, religious and   students from vaious institutions in Shillong attended the funeral.

Salesian Provincial Fr. Philip Barjo speaking at his funeral said, “Fr. Attard who hailed from Malta, the island where the greatest missionary St. Paul landed, had a great missionary heart that took him to the remote villages. Like Paul, he tirelessly and with patience built up the faith of so many Christians in innumerable villages in Khasi Hills.

News Report by Fr. George Plathottam sdb
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