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Sacro Cuor feast in Sliema

The feast of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Sliema was a lovely feast, with devotion in the fore. It was a good example of how a traditional Maltese festa should be organised.

Band marches were conducted throughout the week, Friday being the best day. The mood was terrific and parishioners turned out in great numbers.

On Saturday and Sunday, more people attended the various events, including church visits to pay homage to Our Lady.

Needless to say, no festa is complete without fireworks, and the organisers made sure that there were both ground and aerial displays. This year, for the first time, petards were fired from a barge at the Sliema Ferries. In this regard, our heartfelt thanks go to Tourism Minister Francis Zammit Dimech, as well to Michael Aquilina, of his ministry, who made this possible.

On Sunday evening, the procession with the statue of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was very well attended even though the final of the Euro 2004 football tournament was being played.

As in previous years, new street decorations were put up. We hope that by 2006, when our titular statue celebrates its 125th anniversary, all the streets will be decorated with new pelmets.

One hopes that this festa continues to grow in popularity, thus keeping tradition alive and ensuring greater devotion to Our Lady and her son Jesus Christ.

Our heartfelt thanks also go to the Sliema band, who year after year continue to delight us with their music.

The Franciscan community, those who gave up their precious time to decorate the streets and the church, our many benefactors, helpers and fundraisers - all deserve our heartfelt thanks.

Our thanks also go to all those volunteers who make it possible with their year long work for the long awaited week of the feast to be a success not only in terms of outside activities, but also in terms of devotion to Our Lady.

Last but not least, the Kummissjoni Festa, which devotes its time from one feast to the next to ensure a beautiful traditional festa.

One hopes that next year will bring more success and enjoyment to everyone involved, namely organisers, parishioners and visitors.

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