Fr Hayden Williams
Fr Hayden Williams OFMCap is an itinerant preacher of the Gospel within the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor and forms part of the St Lawrence of Brindisi Fraternity at the hermitage of Le Celle in Cortona, Italy. Le Celle were visited by St Francis of Assisi on 1211, 1215, and 1226.
Born in Malta on 9th July 1977, Fr Hayden was baptized in the Catholic Church on 28 July 1977 and raised up in his hometown of Senglea. He received his education at the Franciscan Sisters' School and at De La Salle College.
In his home parish dedicated to the Nativity of Our Lady, he served as an altar boy and a member of the Legion of Mary. At the age of 13 he was introduced to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal through the parish prayer group Lumen Christi. Two years later he was chosen to lead this same group.
As a teenager, he developed an interest in medicine and wanted to pursue his studies to become a medical doctor. However, during a Catholic Charismatic Conference on 10th April 1994, Divine Mercy Sunday, he felt Jesus calling him to become a priest. Walking in the footsteps of St Francis of Assisi and St Pio of Pietrelcina, through a process of discernment, he embraced the call for the priesthood as Capuchin Friar Minor.
On 9th October 1996, Fr Hayden joined the Capuchins and made his temporary profession of the religious vows on 22nd September 1998 after which he began and successfully finished his Philosophical and Theological studies at the University of Malta and thereby obtained a Degree of Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.Th.B. (Melit.)). On 25th March 2004 he made his perpetual vows and in that same year, on 17th October, was ordained a deacon.
During the year dedicated to the Eucharist, on 21st July 2005, he was ordained a priest by the Archbishop of Malta, Mgr Joseph Mercieca, and continued his studies at the University of Malta by obtaining a Degree of Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.Th.L. (Melit.)) with a dissertation that bears the title The Eucharistic Perspective of the Ministerial Priesthood in John Paul II which has been published as a book under the title Serving the Love of Loves.
Along the years, Fr Hayden has served in following ministries: vocations ministry, formator for young Capuchins, guardian of a Capuchin fraternity, youth leader, hospital chaplain at Mater Dei, assistant parish priest at San Ġwann and prison chaplain of the Corradino Correctional Facilities in Malta where he lived during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. He also served on the provincial council of the Province of Malta and as provincial vicar.
He has written Kristu jghix Fija (Christ lives in Me), and Ir-Rużarju tal-Familja (The Rosary of the Family). He has also recorded the rosary and the divine mercy chaplet in maltese, english and italian, the three languages spoken by Fr Hayden.
Fr Hayden is also the founding father of the Franciscan Fraternity of Jesus and Mary, a private association of the faithful within the Archdiocese of Malta, that was founded on 7 October 2010 and canonically approved on 9 July 2021 by Archbishop of Malta, Mgr Charles J. Scicluna.
Along the years, Fr Hayden has been involved in the preaching ministry which is also characterized by an ecumenical sensibility. He has recorded various TV and radio programs, and preached retreats and addressed conferences to the laity, religious and priests in Malta, Scotland, Ireland, Albania, Holland, Spain, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Egypt, Kenya and Uzbekistan.
After a process of discernment and with the obedience of the General Minister of the Capuchin Friars Minor, Fr Hayden has dedicated himself “to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). His lifestyle alternates between the hermitage for prayer and fraternal life, and itinerant preaching.