Joseph Portelli was born on the small island
of Gozo, off the coast north of Malta, in 1949. He was educated
at the Sacred Heart Seminary in Gozo where he was ordained for
Parish work in the Gozo Diocese. Fr Poertelli was loaned to
the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh in Scotland in 1976
and immediately suffered a period of severe ill health requiring
hospitalisation for a long time relating to kidney failure.
This period of ill health lasted until 1981 when he was still
frail, but at last able to enter Parish work in Scotland.
Fr Portelli's first parish here in Scotland was at St Patrick's
Kilsyth where he arrived in 1981 as assistant Priest to Fr
Denis O'Connell who was Parish Priest in Kilsyth at this
time. During this period he many many friends and was assidious
in visiting the sick of the parish with whom he had much empathy
and much in common, despite remaining quite frail himself and
still attending hospital regularly. It was a during this time
that Fr Portelli befriended Bernard Gordon who was a parishioner
who had suffered repeated brian surgery and who had a litany
of medical complications. This was a friendship which was to
last until Bernard's death some years later.
In 1982 Fr Portelli was transferred as assistant Priest to
St Ninian's Edinburgh where he was to stay for 2 years, 1982
and 1983. A further period as assistant Priest came after this
for 3 years at St Francis Xavier's Falkirk from 1983 to 1985.
In 1985 Fr Portelli was incardinated into the Archdiocese of
St Andrew's and Edinburgh, thus ending his period of loan from
Gozo and making him a permanent Priest of St Andrews and Edinburgh.
Fr Portelli then spent 1985 to 1988 as assistant Priest at
Our Lady of the Waves at Dunbar in East Lothian followed by
a number of years at the Parsih of St Pius X in Kirkcaldy. Fr
Portelli has for many years now been the Parish Priest of St
Agatha's Methil, in Fife.