Br Joseph ELLUL O.P.

A sizeable congregation made up of members of the Maltese Dominican Province of St Pius V, parishioners, friends, academic colleagues and students, turned up at the Dominican Parish Basilica of Our Lady of Safe Havens and St Dominic in Valletta (Malta) on March 7, 2018 for the official conferment of the title of Master in Sacred Theology (Sacrae Theologiae Magister) upon Br. Joseph Ellul O.P., a son of the same province and a member of the Valletta Dominican Community. The Sacrae Theologiae Magister (STM) is an honorary title granted by the Master of the Order of Preachers on the recommendation of his General Council. The ceremony was presided by the Provincial Br. Francis Micallef O.P.

Br. Joseph Ellul is a Doctor in Theology and holds a Degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies. He is Associate Professor at the Pontificia Studiorum Universitas a S. Thoma Aq. in Urbe (Angelicum), Visiting Professor at the Pontificio Istituto di Studi Arabi e d’Islamistica; and Lecturer at the University of Malta. He is also Chairman of the Maltese Archdiocesan Commission for Interreligious Dialogue.

During the ceremony, which was preceded by a laudatio given by Br. Christopher Caruana O.P., Br. Joseph delivered a lecture entitled “Virtus enim laudata crescit in immensum: Dominican Preaching as the Art of Compassion.

The title of the lectio was taken from a phrase contained in Lecture Four on Chapter Ten of the Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews by St Thomas Aquinas. Br. Joseph took this particular lecture as the starting point and basis for his presentation on the path of the preacher in his mission of proclaiming the Word of God. It encapsulates the mission of the Preacher of the Word. He is called to admonish, to console, and to praise, thereby becoming a model of conduct for those who receive it. Thomas applied The Epistle to the Hebrews as a model for right preaching; reflection on his lecture can be applied as a model as to how the preacher should accept his mission and give it solidity in both his inner life and conduct.

Following the lectio, the ceremony was concluded by Provincial Br Francis Micallef O.P. reading out the official decree conferring the Sacrae Theologiae Magister on Br Joseph Ellul O.P. The Valletta Community then hosted the congregation to light refreshments in the cloister of the convent.

Alfred Grixti,

Lay Dominican,

Parish Basilica of Our Lady of Safe Haven and St Dominic, Valletta.


(28 March 2018)