About us

Who are we?

The Spiritual Development in Schools (SDS) forms part of the Episcopal Vicariate for Evangelisation within the Archdiocese of Malta and it is made up of:

-Fr Reuben Gauci (coordinator)

-Ms Charlotte Portelli (pastoral worker)

-Mr Joseph Degabriele (pastoral worker)

-Ms Silvana Cardona (pastoral worker)

-89 Religious counsellors.

SDS includes the coordination of religious counsellors as part of the Religious Education in schools. This coordination falls within the responsibility of the Maltese Episcopal Conference as regulated by the Agreement between Holy See and Republic of Malta about Religious Education in state schools signed in 1989 and amended in 1992. We keep close communication with Fr Joseph Bajada, who is responsible for the Commission of pastoral ministry in schools in Gozo. As SDS, we also support spiritual development in the Independent Schools who ask or accept our assistance. We work also in liaise with the Secretariat for Catholic Education through different initiatives.

Religious counsellors

The Agreement between Holy See and the Republic of Malta holds that religious counsellors are appointed in state schools by the Archdiocese of Malta and the Diocese of Gozo in their respective diocese. The religious counsellors are responsible for the religious animation and moral guidance of the school community, as an essential part of the Religious Education and go to school at least once a week.

H. E. Archbishop entrusts the mission of religious counsellors in the State primary schools to the parish priest/s of the locality where the school is situated. In the Middle and Secondary schools, religious counsellors are chosen to serve the school community in collaboration with the pastoral teams that are created in the school. At the moment religious counsellors are diocesan priests and priests from different religious orders including the Order of Discalced Carmelites, Carmelite Order, Dominican Order, Augustinian Order and the Company of Jesus.

In Malta, 24 Religious counsellors has the mission to serve the communities in 35 middle and secondary State schools. 65 Religious counsellors who are also parish priests or vice parish priests serve 57 primary state schools. In Gozo, religious counsellors who are part of the Diocese of Gozo serve the primary, middle and secondary and post-secondary school in Gozo under the coordination of fr Joe Bajada.