Appreciation: Henry Calleja – A great man


Friday December 7 the local sports arena lost a very talented journalist, Henry Calleja. Henry had a brilliant career as a sports broadcaster. And, later on, this outstanding career was crowned when he was entrusted the headship of the Sportswriters Association from 1987 to 2003.

I had the honour of knowing Henry personally, especially during his hospital stays. The Lord taught me a lot through Henry. First of all, Henry taught me how it is important in life to reason things out calmly and objectively. In other words, how essential it is that I engage myself in my continual exercise of personal, fraternal and pastoral discernment. In this Henry reminded me of what Charles R. Swindoll said: “We need discernment in what we see and what we hear and what we believe”.

Henry also taught me determination. When the path of what it has to done is clearly outlaid one has to commit himself and herself to accomplish the best in that situation. For me, Henry is a living symbol of what Colin Powell said: “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work”.

Finally, Henry instructed me courage. With what courage he faced the obstacles he had to contend with in his health. Yet he remained serene and always fuelled with that theological virtue we call hope, which never disappoints. Here, I see in Henry’s life shines what Maya Angelou said: “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently”. Only people of faith, as Henry certainly was, that manage to be so courageous when confronting those difficult life circumstances.

Thank you Henry for being with us and enriching our lives! You remain, for me, a wise, determined, courageus, humble, in other words, a great man indeed. Pray for us! We pray for you!

Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap

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