Friday, January 1, 2010

Amante Buontempo (1920 - 2004)

Fundattur Tal-Għaqda Poeti maltin

Monsignor Professor Dr. Amante Buontempo.
15 October 1920 Senglea – 21 June 2004 Valletta , Malta
Mons . Prof. Dr. Amante Buontempo has spent many years as a Roman Catholic Priest, involved in the legal aspects of the Church for much of the time. He is also well known as a writer and poet, receiving inspiration for his works not only from religion, but also from other sources, especially politics, about which he was strongly critical. The son of the late Carmelo and Victoria Buontempo, Amante Buontempo was born in Senglea , Malta on 15 October 1920. He studied at Malta Seminary from 1934-39, but when World War II broke out transferred to Gozo Seminary, where he remained until entering Malta University in 1943. Three years later a British Council Scholarship enabled him to pursue postgraduate studies at Nottingham University , England , from 1946 to 1947. While in Nottingham he was also Curate and Spiritual Director of the Catholic Evidence guild at St. Barnabas Cathedral.
Returning to Malta , Mons . Buontempo taught English at the Malta Seminary for a couple of years. Studies at the Pontifical Lateran university in Rome from 1949-53 led to a JUD (Doctor of Civil and Canon Laws), awarded cum laude. In addition, from 1951-54 he followed a course at the Sacred Roman Rota to qualify as Adv. SRR (Advocate of the Sacred Roman Rota). In the meantime, he had become Canon of the Chapter of St. Paul the Shipwrecked, Valletta , serving as such from 1952-87. Additionally, he was chancellor of the same Chapter from 1956-61, Examiner in Canon Law for the Archbishop’s Curia in 1959, chaplain to the Malta House of Representatives (Parliament) from 1962-71 and Parish Priest of St. Paul the Shipwrecked from 1963-66. Since 1961 he has been a member of the Deputation for Marriage Legacies. In 1978 he enjoyed the distinction of being appointed Chaplain to His holiness Pope John Paul II, receiving the title of Monsignor.
The author of a book entitled “Problemi di Diritto Ecclesiastico Maltese”, published in 1954, as well as a number of articles in Latin in “Dictionarium Morale et Canonicum”, Rome, 1962-65, and “Dizionario dei Concili”, Rome, 1963-67, Dr. Buontempo has also contributed to juridical journals. His long and short poems in Maltese, English and Italian, number over 3,000 and appear in poetry magazines and anthologies. He has published twelve books of his poetry under the titles “I was called”, 1967, “I have won”, 1968, “Si vis pacem cane semper”, 1973, “Wishful Thoughts”, 1975, “Lacrime di Speranza”, 1977, “Echi di Sdegno”, 1981, “Rhythmical Reactions”, 1981, “Almond’s Flowers”, 1983, “Mix-Xquq ta’ Qalbi”, 1987 “Another Shipwreck?”, 1990, “The pope’s and My fifty Years of Priesthood” and “Quid Retribuam”, 2000.
In 1941 Mons . Buontempo won 2nd Prize and Special Mention in a public competition for Maltese poetry, while 2nd and 3rd Prizes followed in another competition for poetry in Maltese in 1945. He has won various prizes from all over Italy for his Italian poetry and other prizes for his English poetry. Honoured by the Accademia Tiberina of Rome in 1966, he was appointed Life Member and Honorary Delegate for Malta by the President of the Centro di Culture European, Enemonzo-Udine , Italy , in 1970. during the 4th World Congress of Poets in San Francisco the Academy of Arts and Culture of Taiwan made him Poet Laureate International. Furthermore, the International Guild of Contemporary Bards, Australia , honoured him as International Bard. Selected by the American Biographical Institute as Man of the Year for 1990 and 1995, he has also received honours and awards from the International Biographical Centre, most notably being appointed a Deputy Director General of the organisation.
Prof. Buontempo’s most important accomplishments include acting as interpreter and Assistant Secretary for the first international Catholic Congress on problems of rural life, held in Castelgandolfo in 1951. In 1957 he co-founded the Mary Rose Fund Committed, becoming its Chairman, while from 1959-60 he was involved in organising the First Malta Song Festival and Open-air Opera in Malta . The founder of the Maltese Poets Association in 1975, he has been its Life President ever since; as such, with the cooperation of Editor Vincenzo Ursini of Catanzaro, Italy, he organised the internationally prestigious Citta di Valletta Prize on ten occasions. Mons . Buontempo co-founded The Our Lady of Consecration Movement with a holy woman, Guza Mifusd, who died in 1996. In the year 2000, Amante Buontempo after 25 years as President, resigned and was subsequently elected as the first Honorary President of the Maltese Poets Association. He remained very active in writing poetry and drama, as well as articles and other contributions for journals and newspapers. He passed away peacefully on 21 June 2004.
Valletta , 8th February 2007
Further information on Monsignor Amante Buontempo’s literary works and achievements may be obtained by contacting his nephew Victor Chetcuti on email or mobile 99475572.


Mishut min jara d-dlam f'ghemil haddiehor,
biex jirbah hu bil-qerq li jxandar kliemu:
is-sewwa qatt ma jirbah bi kliem b'iehor;
poplu maqsum jasal malajr fi tmiemu.

Jahasra ghal min jizra' s-semm tal-firda,
ghax jahsad frott l-imwied fid-djar ta' wliedu;
il-hbieb li jsiru ghedewwa jgibu l-qirda,
u tant hsarat ta' llum jibqghu jizdiedu.

Hallu, mexxejja, 'l dan il-poplu hieles,
biex jaghzel hu l-futur ghal art twelidna;
tibqghux timlewlu mohhu b'hafna flieles!

Kull Malti li jivvota kif irid,
ihalli l-kotra tghid kif ALLA jridna:
U dak li jsir minn Malta jkun ta' gid!



To those who never lived in times of war
may mean injustice as a just revenge;
may mean an after-suffering
of Nations poor,
that find no means to feed their families,
but find kind friends
to help them to confront their enemies.
May mean a remedy,
as well as a necessity,
to stop the courage of some terrorists,
who commit siucide,
with the only scope
of vindicating their opponents' pride.
But to me
and to all lovers of a living world
War means destruction, hatred, suffering.
It means the contrary 
of what we want or hope:
in fact we want
the end of terrorism and caprice!
And so it goes against
all men's desire of free life and Peace.


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