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The Ohloq Tbissima marathon kicked off on Friday at noon and will carry on uninterrupted until Sunday 12th July at midnight. The sum collected till 15:00CEST on Friday amounted to €9,279.

The public is encourage to visit the yard at St. Joseph Home in St. Venera and enjoy the joyful atmosphere whilst giving their monitary contribution.   Contributions may also be made by  phoning on:
€7        50049853
€14        50049855
€23        50049850
SMS   €4.66    50618099

Marthese Brincat, assistant director of CAM Productions international (CPi) and co-ordinator of Ohloq Tbissima, explained that this Marathon involves work and commitment of many volunteers, but this work spells out in all the good work that in turn is being done at St. Joseph Home in St. Venera and also in the Missions in the care of the Missionary Society of St. Paul (MSSP) in Peru, Pakistan and the Philippines.

The Dance Workshop under the direction of Theresa Lungaro Mifsud participated with their dances Le Paz and Steam Heat.

Fr. Louis Mallia mssp, Regional Superior of the Missionary Society of St. Paul (MSSP) and also Director of Centru Animzzjoni Missjunarja (ĊAM) and CAM Productions international (CPi), said that each year the marathon is an experience of love and giving.  In his speech he quoted the latest Encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI where he explained that love and charity are  the extraordinary force that moves people to choose courageously and generously, choices in favour of justice and peace.  He went on to say that love and charity are the heart of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

His Excellency Mons. Mario Grech,  Bishop of Gozo, said that this is the year dedicated to priesthood.  He went on to say that this activity surely gives satisfaction to a number of priests, especially those who are directly effected by this activity.   He appealed to those present and televiewers to pray for priests and missionary priests to raise a smile on the faces of this priests as well as on the face of God who is surely glad with any activity of love and giving.

During his opening speech,  President Dr. George Abela, said that people in missionary lands are deprived of basic needs, yet they teach us a lesson.  They carry a beautiful smile on their face as they appreciate the beauty around them.  He carried on to say that this marathon is a clear example of solidarity without frontiers, where the is no distinction of colour or race.  He also congratulated the organisers for not including gifts in this marathon as this is  a value to be recommended.
As a sign of gratitude, CAM Productions international (CPi)  presented Hon. Dr. George Abela and His Excellency Mons Mario Grech with a painting painted by young Philippine artists whereas Mrs Abela was presented with a bouquet of flowers.

The official opening came to an end with the Ohloq Tbissima song sung by Fr. Karm Debattista  accompanied by Bro. Jacob Portelli on the Cello, together with a choir of volunteers, amid enthusiasm and cheer by all those present.

Following the opening, those present participated in mass, which was followed by a discussion hosted by Marthese Brincat with the participation of Fr. Louis Mallia mssp, Fr. Frankie Cini mssp and Fr. Norbert Bonavia mssp, wherein they spoke about their missionary work.

Various exclusive features were aired, showing the work being done and also the needs at St. Joseph Home in St. Venera and also in Peru, Pakistan and the Philippines.

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