Welcome to DISCERN Institute for Research
on the Signs of the Times


  • The Institute for Research on the Signs of the Times is a research institute forming part of the Archdiocese of Malta. DISCERN undertakes research on the signs of the times as they appear in Maltese society and the local Church, utilising the tools offered by the social sciences. DISCERN publishes research reports, holds public lectures, and provides the evidence necessary for the ecclesial community to better serve its mission. DISCERN was founded in 1993.

Views on Catholicism (2022)

Representations of Catholicism in Malta are diverse and dynamic. This project explored the representations, and language used, vis-à-vis Catholicism(s) in Malta, amongst different demographic groups (based on gender, age, education and regions). This large-scale study involved a range of online one-to-one interviews . For more information: https://journey.church.mt/fehmiet-fuq-il-kattolicizmu-minn-discern/

For the full report click here

Read more »

Presentation by Dr Luke J Buhagiar Round Table Discussion Q&A with the audience and conclusion

Parishes and Covid-19 (2021)

Together with the Secretariat for Parishes, DISCERN completed research on the views of various (a) parish priests and (b) active parishioners, concerning the effects of COVID-19 on parishes across Malta. Participants’ views were explored using semi-structured interviews and analyzed using thematic analysis. This study resulted in recommendations for parishes, as can be seen here.

The full report can be found here. Read more »

Youth Engagement Study (2021)

A survey showed that youth have a greater probability of involving themselves at the community level than in politics. Their interest in politics decreases as they grow older. The survey also showed that female youth look at community engagement in a more positive light and participate more than male youth in community initiatives and activities.

This research study was conducted by DISCERN, the institute for research on the signs of the times, among 498 youth aged between 16 and 25 years. Read more »

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