Dun Ġorġ Grima, a Gozitan missionary priest who founded the Ġesù Fil-Proxxmu initiative, died this morning at 67 years old.
Earlier last week, a friend of Dun Ġorġ from São João da Serra in Brazil gave updates on the missionary’s deteriorating health. “They are trying to awake him,” the post said. “He opened his eyes but he still cannot talk because he has the oxygen mask.”
Dun Ġorġ’s movement, founded in 1987, carried out charity programmes in Brazil, Ethiopia and Kenya, setting up 200 homes in total.
The initiative also took care of children with AIDs and various disabilities, helping to open various schools around the world. “When you open a school door, you close one in prison,” a Facebook post read following the opening of a new school just 12 days ago.
Dun Ġorġ was also responsible for the founding of Kilimanjaro Challenge Malta with Keith Marshall, an initiative which sees groups of individuals from Malta venture up the slopes of the highest free-standing mountain on the planet while fund-raising for a worthy cause. So far, more than €650,000 have been collected and invested in various projects, including the construction of a school and convent in the Ethiopian village of Bulbula. The group’s next expedition in January 2018 will mark the eleventh of its kind.
Moviment Missjunarju Ġesù fil-Proxxmu‘s Facebook page shared the sad news this morning, and social media was soon flooded with people paying their respects.
The funeral service for Dun Ġorġ is being organised this Thursday at 5pm at Gozo’s St. George’s Basilica.