The Archbishop’s Seminary

  • Address

    9, Tal-Virtù Street, Tal-Virtù, Rabat, RBT 2604
  • Telephone

    2145 5497

  • Website

  • Purpose and Aims

    Seminaries were instituted by the Council of Trent in the 16th century to provide for the training of candidates to the priesthood. As the Vatican Council II emphasised, “in the seminaries 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.

    Publications: Is-Seminarju, (Editor Rev. Dr Jimmy Bonnici);
    Seminarium and Tagħrif mis-Seminarju taż-Żgħar, (Editor: Rev. Can. 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. Dr Jimmy Bonnici S.Th.D. (Greg.)

  • Vice-Rector

    Rev. Dr Carlo Calleja S.Th.D. (Coll. Bost.)

  • Spiritual Director

    Rev. Prof. Mark Sultana Ph.D. (Greg.)

  • Non-residential Staff

    Spiritual Director – Rev. Fr Sebastjan Caruana S.Th.B.

    Spiritual Director – Rev. Fr Josef Mifsud S.Th.B., S.Th.L.

    Human Formation – Rev. Fr Dunstan Xuereb B.Psych., S.Th.L.

  • Psychologist

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

  • Choirmaster

    Rev. Fr Aurelio Mulé Stagno SDB

  • Vocations Director

    Rev. Can. James Saydon S.Th.B., S.Th.L.

    Assistant Vocations Director

    Rev. Fr Jean Claude Schembri S.Th.B., M.Th.

  • CEO

    Mr Claudio Farrugia MBA

  • Head of Secretariat and Human Resources:

    Ms Maryrose Azzopardi SDC

    Hospitality Officer

    Ms Lorraine Schembri

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

    • Rev. Dr Jonathan Farrugia, Chairperson
    • Ms Cecilia Grech-Marguerat, Secretary
    • Ms Dora Castorina, Librarian
    • Rev. Dr Carlo Calleja, Rector’s Representative
    • Rev. Dr Christopher Caruana OP, Foundation’s Representative
    • Students’ Representative
  • Minor Seminary

  • The Minor Seminary School 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 emphasizes the holistic development of students.

    The school provides an environment where all pupils are catered for in their academic needs and their spiritual care. While they are allowed full freedom of choice, the school environment helps students become aware of their calling in life. Weekend live-ins and meetings of vocation discernment are also organized.

  • Telephone

    2748 3000


    Seminarium, (Editor: Rev. Can. Mark Ellul)

  • Administrative Staff

  • Headmaster

    Rev. Can. Mark Ellul B.Ed. (Hons) Chemistry & Biology, B.A. (Theology & Human Studies), S.Th.B., M.Sc. (Educational Leadership), PhD Candidate

  • Deputy Head Primary

    Dr Mark Farrugia B.Ed. (Hons) Physical Education & EMY, M.Sc. (Educational Leadership), PhD

  • Deputy Head Secondary

    Mr Gordon Baldacchino B.Ed. (Hons) Mathematics & EMY, Dip. Cs.Ed., ALCM, MA Educational Leadership

  • Assistant Head Primary

    Mr Pierre Bellia B.Ed. (Hons) Computer Studies & IT, M.A. Catholic School Leadership

    Ms Dulcinea Mifsud B.Ed. (Hons) Primary Specialisation, M.Ed.(Open)

    Mr Mark Saliba B.Ed. Physical Education, M.A. (reading) Education Leadership

  • Assistant Head Secondary

    Mr Leonard Grixti B.Ed. (Hons) Italian & EMY, M.A. (Youth and Community Studies), PG Dip. In Counselling

    Ms Elaine Gerada Gatt B.A. English & Sociology, M.A. Islands & Small States, PGCE in teacher mentoring, MA Leadership

    Mr Neville Brincau B.Ed. Physics & Mathematics, PGCE in teacher mentoring, MA Catholic School Leadership

  • Pastoral Care Co-ordinator

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

  • INCO

    Ms Charlotte Schembri B.Sc. (Hons) Psychology, M.Ed. (Equality & Diversity), Dip. In Counselling, P.G. Dip. In Family Therapy & Systemic Practice

    Residential Counselling Psychologist

    Dr Stephanie Borg Bartolo B.Psy (Hons), Doctorate in Counselling Psychology (Teesside University)

  • Residential Educational Psychologist

    Ms Clare Cassar B.Psy., M. Psy. (Educ)

    Family & Play Therapist

    Ms Tivona Vella

  • School Chaplain & Assistant Vocations Director

  • Rev. Fr Jean Claude Schembri S.Th.B., M.Th.

    Vocations Director & Assistant School Chaplain

    Rev. Can. James Saydon S.Th.B., S.Th.L.

  • CEO

    Mr Claudio Farrugia MBA

    Administrative Officer

    Ms Emma Gatt BSc

    Head of Secretariat & HR

    Ms Mary Rose Azzopardi SDC


    Ms Carmen Calvagna

    Ms Suzanne Muscat Drago

    Ms Maria Lewis

    Ms Yolanda M Camilleri

    The Staff also includes a complement of 78 Teachers, 75 Learning Support Assistants, a Librarian, 5 Technicians along with 24 Support Staff.