Pastoral Formation Institute

The Pastoral Formation Institute (PFI) was founded after the Diocesan Synod expressed the need of promoting and co-ordinating one of the main challenges of the Church today: that of preparing Christians for the ecclesial and social realities of today.

The PFI is an institution where persons, and indirectly the communities which they form part of, will find the necessary assistance for meeting the following needs:

  • help to attain maturity in wisdom, of heart, mind and soul;
  • building up their identity as members of the Maltese Catholic community;
  • improving their understanding of God’s calling, hence acquiring a better understanding of their responsibility in the face of opportunities provided in our times;
  • getting strength in the face of the challenge to live and put into practice the Commandment of Love;
  • attaining a deeper understanding of the beauty inherent in the calling of faith;
  • entering into dialogue with the challenges put forward by present-day culture and way of thinking;
  • developing the necessary training, and understanding new methods of action by which, as Christians, they believe they can contribute through the ministerial role to which they feel called;
  • understanding themselves as a people chosen and loved by the Creator, being sent as witnesses to the Risen Christ, who leads them on to a full personal, community and social life.

In order that a person who has made the choice of faith may be assisted in maturing in the commitment and contribution within the Church (and also in society), the PFI has the purpose of accompanying such a person by providing periods of a holistic formation.

The local diocesan Synod has made it clear that the PFI is required to:

  • draw up a common project of formation for the Church in Malta;
  • provide a journey empowered by a biblical, theological, spiritual, moral and pastoral dimension;
  • develop a more specific project which would include teaching and training both at a general level and on more specialised levels;
  • provide experiences of deeper spirituality, these being the mainstay for the disciple to follow in the footsteps of Christ;
  • direct the courses being held within the Diocesan Secretariats and Commissions towards a coordinated operation, so as to implement the vision of a coordinated project according to the needs of the Archdiocese;
  • cooperate with other organisations to identify specific areas of work within the Church, and find out by a detailed examination of what skills, knowledge and means are needed for them;
  • cooperate with diocesan and other organisations to meet their requirements of formation;
  • issue certificates for the courses of pastoral formation;
  • prepare schemes of levels and standards suitable for the different courses;
  • ascertain that the level, contents and methodology of the courses provided by the Diocese are of a satisfactory standard.

The institute provides formative opportunities for:

  • Pastoral workers;
  • Professionals involved in various areas;
  • Those who wish to mature in their Christian life.

The various formative initiatives include:

  • Online resources;
  • Online seminars, lectures and courses;
  • Seminars and lectures;
  • Training programs;
  • CPD (Continues Professional Development) Programs;
  • Dialogue with society;
  • Accredited courses, certificates and diplomas.

The Pastoral Formation Institute is registered with the MFHEA as a learning institute and currently offers courses at levels 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Rev. Dr André Zaffarese S.Th.D.

Members of the board
Rev. Prof Mark Sultana Ph.D.
Prof. Nadia Delicata S.Th.D, Ph.D. 
Prof. Jean-Paul De Lucca Ph.D.
Ms Mariella Catania M.A.
Ms Ruth Stivala M.A.

Secretary to the board
Mr Frank Mifsud

Ms Ruth Stivala M.A. – Administrative Executive (Programmes)
Ms Deborah Ebejer B.A. Hons., PG Dip (Religious Studies) – Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Ms Marisabel Spiteri – Administrative Officer
Mr Jonathan Ellul Bonnici – Operations and Logistics Assistant
Mr Michael Mercieca – Coordinator

Email: [email protected]


Facebook: Pastoral Formation Institute 

Contact Numbers: 79201358, 25906516

Postal address:
The Pastoral Formation Institute,
c/o The Archbishop’s Curia,
St. Calcedonius Square,
Floriana FRN 1535, Malta.