Archbishop’s Seminary

  • Indirizz

    90 Triq Tal-Virtù, Rabat RBT 2604
  • Telephone

    2145 5497

  • Website

  • Purpose and Aims

    Seminaries were instituted by the Council of Trent in the 16th century in order to provide for the training of candidates to the priesthood. As the Vatican Council II emphasised, “in them the whole training of the candidates for the priesthood should have as its object to make the candidates true shepherds of souls after the example of Jesus Christ, teacher, priest and shepherd”.In Malta, the training for the diocesan priesthood is provided for by the Major Seminary and by the Faculty of Theology of the University of Malta. The former offers the necessary human, spiritual and pastoral formation and the latter caters for the academic preparation of future priests.At the Major Seminary there are at present 39 candidates for the priesthood. Selection is tending to take longer and the screening to be more thorough.The Minor Seminary is a secondary school which, by and large, follows the curriculum of studies leading to a SEC or Matriculation Certificate. At present there are 260 students, including one refugee. While they are allowed full freedom of choice, there is in the whole school environment an effort to help students become aware of their calling in life. Guidance is offered towards the formation of the human character. Weekends and meetings of vocation discernment are also organised. Publications: Is-Seminarju, (Editor Rev. Fr. Jimmy Bonnici); Seminarium and Tagħrif mis-Seminarju taż-Żgħar, (Editor: Rev. Fr. David Cilia).

  • History

    In 1575, twelve years after the last session of the Council of Trent, Mgr. Dusina, Apostolic Visitor to our island, had decreed the erection of a Seminary. The Bishops of Malta made several attempts to open one but it was only on the 25th March 1703 that Bishop Davide Cocco Palmieri could welcome his first seminarians in a building he provided for them in Mdina.The Seminary remained there till 1723, when Bishop Gaspare Mancini, duly authorised by the Holy See, transferred it to Valletta. In 1728, however, according to the wishes of Bishop Fra Paolo Alpheran de Bussan, the Seminary was transferred back to Mdina, where a new edifice for this institution was being built with funds he himself and Grandmaster Antonio Manoel de Vilhena had provided. This new Seminary was inaugurated on the 20th May 1742. This building today houses the Cathedral Museum.Bishop Gaetano Pace Forno transferred the Seminary to the Casa di Manresa,formerly the Jesuit retreat house, at Floriana, in 1858 and carried out a thorough reform of its curriculum of studies. The Major Seminary remained in Floriana till 1910, when it was transferred back to Mdina according to the instructions of the Apostolic Visitor, Card. Pietro la Fontaine. In 1921, however, Bishop Dom Maurus Caruana transferred the Seminary again to Floriana. The Minor Seminary remained in Mdina till 1892 when it was also transferred to Floriana.During World War II, the Seminary was hit three times and suffered extensive damage. In the post-war period the seminary was renovated and modernised, but space and environment available in the building could never satisfy the educational demands of our times. Several plans were prepared to build a new Seminary. Finally, this problem was overcome when on the 15th November 1977, H.G. Mgr. Joseph Mercieca, Archbishop of Malta, inaugurated the former Mater Admirabilis Training College as the Seminary of the Archdiocese.His Holiness Pope John Paul II visited the Seminary on the 27th May 1990 during his pastoral visit to Malta. An Apostolic Visitation of the Seminary was carried out by Bishop Vincent Logan in October 1999.In 2003, the Seminary celebrated its third centenary. On behalf of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano sent a message to mark the event. In the same year, the history of the Seminary was published – For Service Alone – by Fr Francis Bonnici.

  • Major Seminary

  • Rector

    Rev. Dun Jimmy Bonnici

  • Vice-Rector

    Rev. Dun Carlo Calleja

  • Spiritual Director

    Rev. Mark Sultana

  • Non-residential Staff

    Rev. Dun Sebastjan Caruana
    Rev. Dun Josef Mifsud                                                                                                                            Rev. Dun Rev. Dunstan Xuereb

  • Confessor

    Mgr Vincenz Deguara
  • Psychologist

    Rev. Dr. Paul Galea, M.S.Th., Lic.Psych., Ph.D.

  • Choirmaster

    Rev. Dun Aurelio Mule’ Stagno SDB

  • Vocations Director

    Rev. Dun James Saydon

  • CEO

    Mr Claudio Farrugia

  • Head of Secretariat and Human Resources:

    Ms Maryrose Azzopardi

  • Committee for the Seminary Library and for the Foundation of Theological Studies 

    • Dr John Berry, Chairperson
    • Ms Joanna Farrugia, Secretary
    • Ms Dora Castorina, Librarian
    • Rev. Ronnie Zammit, representing the Rector of the Seminary
    • Rev. Christopher Caruana, representing the Foundation of Theological Studies
    • Mr Jonathan Debattista, Students Representative
  • Minor Seminary

  • The Minor Seminary is a school ranging from primary to secondary which, by and large, follows the National Curriculum. Nevertheless, being a Church school it does give greater emphasis to Gospel values and emphasises the holistic development of the students. The school provides an environment where all pupils are catered for in their academic needs and for their spiritual care.

    While they are allowed full freedom of choice, there is in the whole school environment an effort to help students become aware of their calling in life. Weekend live-ins and meetings of vocation discernment are organised.
  • Telephone

    2145 5497

  • Administrative Staff

  • Headmaster

    Rev. Can. Mark Ellul B.Ed. (Hons), S.Th.B., B.A. (Theology & Human Studies), MSc (Educational Leadership)

  • Deputy Head Primary

    Mr Mark Farrugia B.Ed. (Hons), MSc (Educational Leadership)

  • Deputy Head Secondary

    Mr Gordon Baldacchino B.Ed. (Hons),  Dip. Cs.Ed., ALCM

  • Assistant Head Primary

    Ms Dulcinea Mifsud

    Mr Mark Saliba

  • Assistant Head Secondary

    Mr Leonard Grixti B.Ed. (Hons), M.A. (Youth and Community Studies), M. Couns. (Melit.)

    Ms Elaine Gerada Gatt B.A. – English & Sociology; M.A. – Islands and Small States; PGC in teacher mentoring

    Mr Neville Brincau B.Ed – Physics & Mathematics, PGC in teacher mentoring

  • Pastoral Care Co-ordinator

    Mr David Grillo B.A. (Psychology & Maltese), Dip. Gest Psychotherapy, M.A. (Birmingham), E.C.P.

  • INCO

    Mrs Charlotte Schembri B.Sc (Hons) Psychology, M Ed. (Inclusion)

  • Residential Clinical Psychologist

    Dr Angela Abela B.A., M.Sc.T., L.Psych., M. Psych. (Sorbonne), Ph.D. (Lond.)

  • Residential Educational Psychologist

    Ms. Claire Cassar B.Psy; M.Psy (Educ).

  • Secretaries

    Sa Suzanne Muscat Drago

    Sa Carmen Calvagna

    Sa Yolanda M. Camilleri

    Sa Maria Lewis

  • Chaplain / Assistant Vocations Director

    Rev. Dun Jean Claude Schembri.

  • Vocations Director / Assistant Chaplain

    Rev. Dun James Saydon

  • The Staff also includes a complement of 85 teachers, 66 Learning Support Assistants, a Librarian, 4 Technicians along with 33 support staff.