Fr. Emidio Saliba was born in 1942 at Hamrun, Malta. After his secondary education at St. Aloysius Jesuit College, he joined the Society of Jesus at Naxxar in October 1958. After his juniorate he volunteered for the Santal Mission, and arrived in India on 7th August 1962.
On arrival, Fr. Emidio studied Hindi and later on picked up Santali and Bengali. He completed his philosophy at Pune and theology at St. Mary’s, Kurseong. He was ordained at Sahibganj on 25th March, 1971 and made his final commitment in February 1977. Though somewhat shy and a little diffident, his availability for mission was exemplary and noteworthy. He carried out his duties conscientiously and humbly. Regular at prayer, Fr. Emidio was a community man. He was a pleasant person with a sense of humour. He was unassuming and respected others and their opinion. He loved to be with school children and the youth. He served as Vice-Principal of St. Xavier’s, Sahibganj. He was the Headmaster at Mundli and at Hathimara middle schools, Director of candidates. For twelve years he was the Rector of St. Xavier’s Sahibganj and then of Jisu Jaher novitiate. He was a competent English language teacher. He taught in schools, in the common juniorate, in the candidate house and the novitiate. He served as treasurer in several Jesuit communities and institutions.
Fr. Emidio was always above petty feelings and always supported and encouraged others. In his final years, suffering from cancer, Emidio revealed his deep faith in the Lord and total surrender to His Will. He has left his Jesuit companions and outsiders a legacy of faithfulness, simplicity, prayerfulness and the practice of poverty. Fr. Emidio Saliba remains an inspiration to all who knew him.
- Paul Aquilina, SJ