Mgr. Joseph De Piro
It all started with a dream planted by God in the heart of a young, generous priest - Joseph De Piro from the small island of Malta in Europe.
He was a talented young man, fairly good at drawing, full of energy. He came from a rich, noble family but the only treasure he valued was his relationship with God. Nothing was more precious to him than doing God's will.
He felt the first stirrings of his call in childhood but it seemed like an impossible dream. His elder brother was a priest and his father, who believed that one priest in the family was enough wanted Joseph to become a lawyer instead.
His father's sudden death, however, changed everything. The way was now open for him to answer God’s call and become priest.
Once ordained, he sought to live poor among the poor. He was given various important appointments in the diocese but the closest to his heart was his work as director of various orphanages.
Still, he felt called to do more. God, he believed, wanted him to start a congregation of missionaries whose members, following St. Paul, would leave their own country to proclaim the good news throughout the whole world.
Foundation of the MSSP
This vision began to take shape on June 29, 1910 when De Piro accepted the first two candidates to form part of a new congregation. Their first home was a very poor house close to the palace of his family.
Although a prominent member in the diocese and in Maltese society, he remained humble. He impressed on the members of his new congregation the importance of humility, zeal for evangelization as well as compassion to the poor and marginalized.
Slowly, the Society started to grow. They moved from one house to another until the founder acquired some land to build the first convent named St. Agatha because the site had long been associated with this saint.
The first members worked mainly with orphans in St. Joseph’s Home and taught Catechism in other places.
The Motherhouse was blessed in 1933.That same year, the Founder died and left the members of the Society without a father.
MSSP in Philippines - Historical data
1999 marked the year when the first MSSP missionary, Fr. Lonnie Borg, was appointed to the mission in the Philippines. He was later joined by Fr. Ivano and together they formed the first community. They started learning the language while also ministering in parishes and the campus ministry at PUP. Fr Joe Cremona joined the mission in 2002 and eventually became the first parish priest of St.Catharine of Alexandria Parish in Pagalanggang-Bataan.
It soon became obvious that the Philippines was ideally suited for MSSP formation. In 2007 work started on the International House of formation (IHF). Fr. Mark Grima was appointed as the first formator. The IHF was officially inaugurated in 2009 during the International Regional Superiors meeting.
2010 saw the start of local formation in New Manila under Fr. Stephen Mifsud. Following the General Chapter of 2012, Fr. Hector was assigned as the new IHF formator. In 2015, Fr Martin Galea joined the Philipino community to serve as novice master and Fr. Mark Demanuele as chaplain to PUP campus ministry.
2017, we had our first profession of vows of 6 Novices. In May 2017, we celebrated the diaconate of
Rev. Giovann Tabone and Rev. Alex Zammit in the Diocese of Cubao. In 2018, we started the demolition of the MSSP local house of formation and in 2019 we started the reconstruction of the new house to meet the increasing needs of formation and ministry. The new house was finished in November 2020 and immediately served to guest evacuees from victims of Typhoon.
During Covid 19 pandemic the community worked hard to help the poor families who live in our parishes and beyond. Also finding new ways how to evangelize.