In 1952, Joseph Abela arrives in Melbourne from Malta with an express wish from the Founder, St George Preca and the Superior General, Eugenio Borg to explore the possibilities and commence the work of the SDC. Another Member, Emmanuel Farrugia was also involved in this early beginning. In October of 1952 the first activity at West Melbourne began involving talks to adults. A class for young men was formed. Meetings continued formally until Joseph Abela left to join Corpus Christi seminary at Werribee.
It was an act of faith that enabled Maurice Mifsud, John Portelli and Joseph Sacco to leave Malta on 17 March 1956 to head for our shores here in Australia. It was an act of providence that the SDC officially began in Melbourne on 18 April 1956. This group of men formed the nucleus of the first group commissioned by the Founder to officially begin the SDC in Australia. From the humble and poor conditioned premises at 183 Rosslyn Street, West Melbourne, and from the church crypt at St Mary’s Parish in West Melbourne, the SDC has evolved into what it is today.
In 1958, a small weatherboard cottage at 7 Chetwyn Street, West Melbourne was used by the Members. This house close to St Mary’s provided accommodation for those Members who wanted to live together. The main room in the house was given over to a Chapel for the West Melbourne activities.
Father L Egan, Administrator of the West Melbourne parish was appointed Parish Priest of North Sunshine where a great concentration of Maltese people lived. He requested that a Centre be established in North Sunshine. In 1961 a Centre was built in Westmoreland Road, North Sunshine. Following this in 1963, the West Sunshine SDC centre was officially formed.
The SDC has been instrumental for the experience and the life of our God to permeate in the lives of so many young people and adults of different nationalities. The Members in Melbourne minister in various parishes in the west of Melbourne carrying out sacramental programmes, RCIA programmes and post-sacramental activities.