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 Church in Malta, in her pursuit of evangelisation, recognises the urgent need of formation for her members. The call of the Diocesan Synod clearly shows that one of the greatest challenges facing her at present is the preparation of Christians for the real needs of social reality as it is present today.
    The PFI is a sign that the Church in Malta is also keen to provide means of formation to those categories and groups in society that are not directly involved in pastoral action but feel the need of referring in depth to the message of Christ and his Church in their ordinary or professional work.

    Telephone: 21233304; 22039513

    Mobile: 79313213


  • Director

    Rev. Dr Jimmy Bonnici


    Rev. Dr Joe Galea Curmi S.Th.D. (Greg.)
    Rev Dr Mark Sultana
    Prof. Adrian Gellel D.Sc.Ed. (UPS)
    Sr Marie Scicluna RCSJ
    Dr Nadia Delicata Ph.D. 
    Ms Mariella Catania M.A.

    Secretary to the board

    Mrs Deborah Ebejer, B.A. Hons.


    The PFI is an institution where persons, and indirectly the communities of which they form part, 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.

    Reaching the Objectives

    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 experience of the 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 already 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;
      • use, as far as possible, already existing resources, such as the Faculty of Theology, Inserm, Institutes of Spirituality within the Religious Orders, so that their contribution may help towards attaining the aims of PFI, and avoid duplication of work;
      • draw its inspiration from the Synod documents, the needs of the parishes, the requirements of the Secretariats and Commissions, and the current Pastoral Plan;
      • 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.

    Formation Proposals

    The following courses are currently being offered:
    ·         General Education Award in Media Education from a Catholic Perspective
    ·         General Education Award in Evangelisation
    ·         Higher Education Award in the Liturgy
    ·         Higher Education Award in Missiology
    ·         Higher Education Award in Adolescent and Youth Ministry
    ·         Higher Education Award in Family Ministry
    ·         Higher Education Award in Theology
    ·         Higher Education Award in Catholic Social Teaching
    ·         Higher Education Award in Parish Nursing
    ·         Diploma in Christian Leadership
    ·         Higher Education Award in Spirituality
    ·         Diploma in Spiritual Accompaniment
    ·         Higher Education Award in Carmelite Spirituality (in collaboration with the Carmelite Institute)
    ·        Higher Education Award in Biblical Studies (in collaboration with the Malta Bible Society)
    We are planning to hold a course on:
      • The Human Experience of God in Prayer
    The following seminars are being offered:
    ·         Three seminars for the on-going formation of Youth Leaders.
    ·         A Week experience for presbyters.
    ·        Two seminars for the administrative and professional staff working in diaconia.
    We offer retreats and Pauline pilgrimages.
    We collaborate in a dialogue project at Palazzo de Piro by Converse at Palazzo de Piro.
    We hold Djalogi mas-Socjetà sessions.
    We are developing an online Resource Centre with the intention of offering a catechetical and mystagogical space on the internet.

    Our Experience

    In the past six years, the PFI managed to reach many of the goals set for it by the Diocesan Synod. However, there are still many projects which, as yet, the PFI can only dream about. It is very encouraging to note that the entities we collaborated with had a very positive attitude and a sincere wish to collaborate. We strongly believe that working together with other entities in an ecclesial manner will put us in a better position to be able to read the signs of the time and therefore plan accordingly how to face these questions and challenges.
    As part of the thrust for the new evangelisation, the PFI wants to offer spiritual formation that includes continuous reference to Scripture, a clear knowledge of the faith, an experience of the beauty of the liturgy, and a thorough understanding of spirituality, and the morality and social teaching of the Church. In this way, we will have people who evangelise in ways that are profound and convincing. The PFI also wants to communicate and dialogue with varied sectors of society.
    Throughout the years that the PFI has been in existence, it was always cautious to treasure and to follow the spiritual and ecclesial route offered by the diocesan synod. In fact, its entire mission has moved forward in this spiritual manner. So far, our experience has been a beautiful one and our hope is in the Lord who will take care of our future. It is in this spirit that we want to consider the new prospects indicated to us by the Lord with great faith, hope and love.


  • Universe of Faith


  • Universe of Faith is a Catholic website which offers an opportunity for any person to be accompanied in one’s faith through a virtual medium.