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.

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 »

Parishes and Covid-19

Together with the Secretariat for Parishes, DISCERN is conducting research on the views of various (a) parish priests and (b) active parishioners, concerning the effects of Covid-19 on parishes across the island. These views are being explored using semi-structured interviews and will be analysed using thematic analysis. This will allow for solid recommendations moving forward. Read more »

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