Fr George Scerri
Fr George Scerri (1910-1980) was the Provincial of the Missionary Society of St Paul in Melbourne, Australia.
Early life and migration
Fr George Scerri was born in Qormi Malta on May 16, 1910. After finishing his secondary education at St Aloysius College, Birkirkara, he joined the Missionary Society of St Paul in January 1929. After his ordination to the priesthood on April 2, 1968, his first appointment was at St Joseph's Home, Ħamrun, Malta.
For a number of years, when the Maltese started migrating to Australia by their thousands, Fr Scerri accompanied them, as Chaplain on their way to Australia. Later on he worked for a couple of years among the Maltese migrants in Canada, and in 1962 he migrated to Australia, where he stayed until his untimely death. Fr George Scerri, or Dun Ġorġ as he was commonly known, worked in Sydney among the Maltese Community, for about ten years, and when in 1971 he was appointed Provincial of the MSSP, he moved to Melbourne.
Dun Ġorġ was completely immersed in his responsibilities of Provincial and as Chaplain to the Maltese community. He led a very simple life and his simple faith, grounded firmly in the love of God and neighbour, made him available to others at all times. He was endowed with humility, courage and vision, and had a certain sense of leadership in his own quiet and unassuming way. He was untiring in exercising his ministry and, although he didn't drive a car, he could be found in any church, hospital or any other place where he was needed.
When the idea of building a Maltese Community Centre started to take shape, Dun Ġorġ showed great enthusiasm in pushing forward this project by every means at his disposal. At every opportunity he appealed to the Community to rally around to bring this idea to fruition, and to raise the much needed funds. This project of the building of the Maltese Community Centre, which was so close to his heart, was eventually completed, as we all know. But he was not meant to see it finished.
On Sunday July 13, 1980, he was assaulted, and as a result died on August 4, 1980 at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. His funeral at St Mary’s Church, West Melbourne, was a testimony to the love and respect that Dun Ġorġ enjoyed within the Church and the Maltese community. Bishops and a large number of priests and leaders of the Maltese community accompanied by a large crowd of Maltese packed St Mary's Church, West Melbourne for his funeral and burial at the Melbourne General Cemetery.
- Fr Denis Carabott, MSSP, reproduced from the MCCV Newsletter, June, 2005