The Maltese Province this year is commemorating the 50th anniversary of its missionary presence in Brazil, begun by Fr. Paul M. Spiteri back in 1962. Several celebrations were held in different places. The first one took place in the parish church of Saint Rita, São Paulo, on the 9th of December. The mass was presided by Prior General Fr. Robert F. Prevost, accompanied by the Prior Provincial of Malta Fr. Emanuel Borg Bonello and a group of Maltese friars who had spent various years working in the mission and who returned to Brazil for this special occasion. Augustinians of nearby communities were also present, together with the Augustinian Sisters Servants of Jesus and Mary.
Another celebration was held on Sunday, December 16th in Rolândia. The day before a thanksgiving mass was also celebrated in Jaguapitã (Parana), where the friars were present up until last January. Both celebrations were presided by the Archbishop Emeritus of Londrina, Dom Albano Cavallin. After the mass in Rolândia a commemorative plaque was blessed and a new statue representing Saint Augustine was placed and blessed in the town's main square, which was recently renamed after the bishop of Hippo. The activities were mainly organized by Fr. Maciel Alvez Bueno, superior of the Maltese delegation and Fr. Reginaldo da Silva. For these festivities a large number of people were present, some of whom came precisely to meet the friars who had worked there these last 50 years. Today the Maltese delegation is made up of three Maltese and three Brazilian solemnly professed friars and a simple professed in initial formation.