Fr Anthony Micallef was born at Zebbug in Malta in 1939. He joined the Society of Jesus at Loyola House, Naxxar, Malta, in 1959. He volunteered for the Santal Mission and arrived in India in 1965. He was ordained priest on 25 March 1971 in the Parish Church of Sahibganj. Fr Micallef was a man of few words and unobtrusive, yet sociable. He had a kind and compassionate heart especially for the sick.
Sensing the importance of audio-visuals in the ministry of preaching, teaching and communications, Fr Micallef set himself to become competent in the audio-visual media. In 1977, along with Fr Joe Gauci Sacco SJ, he set up a mobile unit equipped with audio-visual media and began using it in interior villages, imparting integral education to the Santals. Fr Micallef was Director of the ‘Sound Studio’ – part of the Communications Unit of the Santal Region. Later he set up the Dumka Diocese Communications Centre ‘Sademarsal’ (Sound and Light) at SDC, Dudhani, and began producing silk-printing, flannel graphs of the Old and New Testaments, health care charts, recordings and slides, as aids to teachers in imparting integral formation.
Back in Malta in 1996, Fr Micallef was given the portfolio of Promoter of the Benefactors Association and distribution of the magazines of the Maltese Jesuits, namely, ‘Lil Hbiebna’ (To Our Benefactors) and ‘Regina et Mater’ (Queen and Mother). In 2020, he was assigned the ministry of prayer. He breathed his last on 22nd May, 2021. Dumka-Raiganj Province as well as Dumka Diocese remain grateful to Fr Micallef for the legacy he left behind him, in particular ‘Sademarsal’ of Dumka Diocese, which still churns out educational aids for the different educational activities in schools and villages. May he rest in the Peace and Joy of the Lord!
Paul Aquilina, SJ