The Institute of Pastoral Formation (IFP) was set up by the Archdiocese of Malta within the Pastoral Secretariat. The IFP has its chair at the Catholic Institute, Floriana. The IFP has the prime purpose of providing a holistic formation, as required by all the members for the Catholic community in Malta. In its effort to reinforce the identity of this community of brethren, the Institute intends offering opportunities for: (a) permanent formation, and (b) spiritual experiences; (c) promoting professional formation of pastoral workers for the performance of their ministries and other work; (d) and also providing experiences of dialogue with Maltese society.
In 2005, Rev. Dr. Fabio Attard SDB was appointed as the first Director and in July 2005, a Board was set up to help in the management of the Institute. This Board started operating as from August 2005 and was formally constituted on the 18th September 2007 through a decree signed by Mgr Archbishop Paul Cremona. The members of the first Board were: Rev. Dr. Fabio Attard SDB, DD., Sr Marie Scicluna RCSJ, MA, Rev. Dr. Joe Galea Curmi S.Th.D.(Lat), Dr Adrian Gellel D.Sc.Ed.(UPS), Rev. Rev. Dr Mark Sultana S.Th.L., Ph.D.(Greg).
Meetings with different institutes within the Church were held, namely with the Secretariats and Commissions of the Archdioceses, the Institutes of Spirituality led by the Religious Orders and the Faculty of Theology. During these meetings the identity and the role of the Institute of Pastoral Formation were discussed.
The priority of the Board was to formulate a Charter which would indicate the vision and the mission of the Institute of Pastoral Formation: the guidelines the Institute would be adhering to and the structures which would help in reaching the goals. The guidelines of this Charter reflected the mandate of the Diocesan Synod.
In April 2008 Fr Mark Sultana was appointed as Director of PFI since Fr Fabio Attard has been elected as a Counsellor of the Salesian Order. The members of the second Board were: Rev. Dr Mark Sultana S.Th.L., Ph.D.(Greg.), Sr Marie Scicluna RCSJ, MA, Rev. Dr. Joe Galea Curmi S.Th.D.(Lat.), Dr Adrian Gellel D.Sc.Ed. (UPS), Ms Louise Laferla MA, Dr Nadia Delicata, Ms Stephanie Falzon MA., is Secretary to the Board.
In 2017, Rev. Jimmy Bonnici was appointed as the first Director of the PFI. Rev Dr Mark Sultana has been chosen as the ResidentalSpiritualDirector at the Archbishop`s Seminary, Malta. The members of the current Board are Rev. Jimmy Bonnici, Sr Marie Scicluna RCSJ, MA, Rev. Dr. Joe Galea Curmi S.Th.D.(Lat), Dr Adrian Gellel D.Sc.Ed.(UPS), Rev. Dr Mark Sultana S.Th.L., Ph.D.(Greg), Dr Nadia Delicata Ph.D. (Toronto), Ms Mariella Catania MA and Ms Deborah Meli BA (Hons), is Secretary to the Board.
The PFI has the purpose of providing periods of holistic formation through:
In 2014, Fr Andrea Zaffarese carried out a study on enhancing the participation of IFP Graduates in ministry. To read the report please click here Please click here to view a ppt of the Pastoral Formation Institute`s Ethos
The PFI offers the necessary assistance for meeting the following needs:
The icon is a window onto God’s eternity. When Abraham saw the three Angels he prayed: “My Lord, I beg you, if I find favour in you – kindly do not pass your servant by” (Gen 18, 3). This prayer by Abraham is manifested in this icon and is also related to the mission of the Pastoral Formation Institute. Our dreams, our reflections and our actions are not simply generated from ourselves but are God’s gratuitous and splendid gift. While we pray, we enter dimly the conversation within Godself. The Lord God also prays to us and invites us to rest and to find nourishment in God’s shadow. We are invited to pause in our ways, rest and contemplate the goodness of God. The passage of these three persons appearing to Abraham indicates the coming of God in his life; the icon is a window onto the Triune God’s closeness to us and to the whole of humanity. The upper part of the icon is figurative; the lower part is abstract.
Indeed, God is transcendent, indefinable, ineffable, and yet God reveals Godself and enters into intimacy with the human person. The entire icon speaks of beauty – an ineffable and yet a truly real beauty. It is interesting to note how the figures are placed. The central figure is clothed in blue (the colour of humanity); the other two figures are wearing golden green (which represents hope) and golden red (which represents fire, and the splendour of God) respectively. The artistic play with the colour gold in the bottom part of the icon is integrated in the clothing of the persons and reveals that God is infinite and perfect.
The red band also holds an important meaning: encircling the three figures, bringing them together, it reveals that one God lives in these three unique persons. The figurative part shows the central angel gazing at, approaching, and entering in conversation with, the person contemplating the icon; he is facing the contemplator and holding a staff: he is the fellow-traveller, the Incarnate Son of God. The other angels are looking across the icon and have their faces almost entirely covered. It is through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, that the Lord God touches our lives. Interestingly the colour blue also penetrates through the other colours showing that the humanity of Christ, the Incarnate Son, is one with the Father and the Spirit.
This icon was written at a particular time at the end of a year and the beginning of another. The iconographer, John Martin Borg, chose this particular time – he commenced work at the end of the year 2010 and completed his work at the beginning of the New Year 2011 – in order to manifest, through the icon, that Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the One who comes forth from the Father in the Spirit and, in the Spirit, leads us to the Father.
Started as a trainee accountant up to an Assistant Manager in an audit department. Worked in a busy team under pressure. Worked within a team-based culture which involved planning, organisation, coordination and commitment. At KPMG I was seconded for 3 months with KPMG Reading (UK). Audited mainly manufacturing, telecommunications and media companies in Malta. Holds an Accountant Warrant (#10527) with the Maltese Board of Accountants (with an exempt status)
Lecturer in Ecumenism and Fundamental / Dogmatic Theology at the Pastoral Formation Institute in Malta and the Faculty of Theology at the University of Malta. He is an author, lecturer, theologian, and intellectual interested in examinations of “faith and unbelief, Christianity, society and culture as well as religions and spirituality.” Berry graduated in Philosophy and Theology at the University of Malta (BA Phil, 1998; SThB, 2002; SThL, 2004; MA Phil, 2014) and at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (STL, 2006 and STD, 2013). In his licentiates and doctoral studies, he has studied, above all, the theologies of Hans Urs von Balthasar, Joseph Ratzinger and Yves Congar O.P. under the supervision of Professors John O’Donnell sj and William Henn Ofm Cap.
M.Th. University of London, U.K. M.Sc. in Pastoral Psychology University of Loyola, MD, USA, PHD in Psychology (2003) The Complex Impact of Childhood Trauma among Maltese Students. During his studies in the US, Dr. Galea pursued supervised clinical internships at: Taylor Manor Psychiatric Hospital, Frederick House for the Homeless, and at Lighthouse Family Services Centre, MD. Michael joined the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta, in 2010. Being also a clinical psychologist and family therapist, Dr. Galea has contributed psychological services to Kana Movement, Appogg, and MEG movement, for needy causes.
Joseph Galea Curmi studied at the Faculty of Theology, Malta, graduating S.Th.B. in 1988 and S.Th.L. in 1991. He pursued his studies at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, where he successfully defended his doctoral S.Th.D. thesis in Pastoral Theology in 1998. He was appointed lecturer at the Department of Pastoral Theology in the Faculty of Theology, University of Malta in 1999 where he lectures in Pastoral Theology. Joseph Galea Curmi is also a member of the Board of the Archdiocesan Institute for Pastoral Formation as well as a member of the European Society for Catholic Theology. He has taken part in several International Conferences.
July 1997 to date: After I obtained my Medical Warrant, I started working with Sedqa as a Medical Officer. In this post I have shown particular interest in Substance Misusing Pregnant Women and Promiscuous Substance Misusing Women. I have followed screening programs for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and special Detoxification programmes have been tailored for the pregnant women. October 2000 to date: I have lectured at the University of Malta as a visiting lecturer with various faculties including Laws, Medicine and Surgery, Education, Wellbeing and Health Sciences.
Member, Management Committee, COST Action IS1310: Reassembling the Republic of Letters, 1500-1800. A digital framework for multi-lateral collaboration on Europe`s intellectual history (since 2015) Member, Scientific Committee, Centro Studi Tommaso Campanella, Stilo, IT (since 2015) Member, Human Rights Programme, University of Malta (since 2015) Member (UoM representative), Working Group for the establishment of a European Centre of Excellence in Professional Ethics (since 2014) Peer Reviewer, Routledge Philosophy series (Philosophy of Law) (2012, 2015) External Collaborator, Archivio dei Filosofi del Rinascimento, Istituto per il Lessico Intellettuale Europeo e Storia delle Idee, Italian National Research Council (CNR) (since 2011) Contributor and reviewer, The Literary Encyclopedia (since 2011) Member, Editorial Committee, Bruniana
Mr Wright teaches P.S.D and Social Studies at St Michael's School. He is Head of Department for PSD and Media Education with the Secretariat for Catholic Education. Mr Wright also lectures in the Pedagogy of Religious Education at the University of Malta
CONSTITUTION 1. The Institute of Pastoral Formation (IFP) was set up by the Archdiocese of Malta within the Pastoral Secretariat.
CHAIR 2. The IFP has its chair at the Catholic Institute, Floriana.
AIM 3. The IFP has the prime purpose of providing a holistic formation, as required by all the members for the Catholic community in Malta. In its effort to reinforce the identity of this community of brethren, the Institute intends offering opportunities for: (a) permanent formation, and (b) spiritual experiences; (c) promoting professional formation of pastoral workers for the performance of their ministries and other work; (d) and also providing experiences of dialogue with Maltese society.
OBJECTIVES 4. The PFI offers the necessary assistance for meeting the following needs: To help individuals and Christian communities to attain maturity in wisdom, of heart, mind and soul; building up their identity as members of the Maltese Catholic community; To improve their understanding of God’s calling, hence acquiring a better understanding of their responsibility in the face of opportunities provided in our times; To gain strength in the face of the challenge to live and put into practice the Commandment of Love; To attaining a deeper understanding of the beauty inherent in the calling of faith; To enter into dialogue with the challenges put forward by present-day culture and way of thinking; To develop 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; To understand 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.
ACTIVITIES 5. The PFI has the purpose of providing periods of holistic formation through: Drawing up a common project of formation for the Church in Malta; Providing a journey empowered by a biblical, theological, spiritual, moral and pastoral dimension; Dveloping a more specific project which would include teaching and training both at a general level and on more specialised levels; Poviding experiences of deeper spirituality, these being the mainstay for the disciple to follow in the footsteps of Christ; Directing 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; Coperating with other organisations to identify specific areas of work within the Church, and finding out by detailed examination what skills, knowledge and means are needed for them; Cooperating with Diocesan and other organisations eet their requirements of formation; issuing certificates for the courses of pastoral formation; Preparing schemes of levels and standards suitable for the different courses; Ascertaining that the level, contents and methodology of the courses provided by the Diocese are of a satisfactory standard.
MANAGEMENT AND DIRECTION 6. The PFI: Is a unit within the Pastoral Secretariat; Is managed by a Director appointed by the Archbishop for a period of five years, together with, a Board appointed by the Archbishop, from four to eight members who are qualified in different pastoral sectors of the Church; The Board can call individuals to help in the management and auditing of courses; will also operate from centres on a district basis and pastoral unities.
ANNUAL REPORT 7. Once a year, the Director shall draw up a report on the working of the PFI. This report shall be presented during the month of May to the Pastoral Secretariat, to the Presbyterial Council, and to the Diocesan Pastoral Council.
FINANCE 8. Every year the IFP shall draft the budget estimates. This together with the accounts of the PFI will be presented yearly to the Archbishop through the Pastoral Secretary.