The Metropolitan Chapter | Mdina Cathedral Museum Archives

The Metropolitan Chapter

The Metropolitan Chapter of the Cathedral of Malta (Capitulum Metropolitanium – Melitense) is made up of 30 Canons, besides a number of Canon coadjutors and honorary canons. The Cathedral Chapter is responsible for the running and for the liturgy of two churches, the Cathedral Church of St. Paul at Mdina, which is also a Parish Church, and the Co-Cathedral Church of St. John in Valletta. The latter was formerly the Conventual Church of the Knights of St John, but when in 1798 Napoleon expelled the Order, St John’s Church was entrusted to the care of Cathedral Chapter and later raised to Co-Cathedral.

The members of the Cathedral Chapter are divided into two sections, one section serving at Mdina and the other in Valletta. The Cathedral Church is the seat where the bishop of Malta has his Cathedra.

The Cathedral Church of Mdina has a very long history. Count Roger of Normandy, who in 1090 conquered the Maltese islands from the Moors, reinstated the bishop at the Cathedral. In 1299 a new church dedicated to St. Paul was being constructed. The Church of St. John in Valletta has a much later origin; it was constructed by Grand Master La Cassiere in 1578 following the the building of the city of Valletta after the Great Siege of 1565.

The Cathedral Chapter runs two important museums: the Cathedral Museum in Mdina and the St John’s Museum in Valletta, the latter jointly with the St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation.

(Next to each Monsignor’s name is the respective date of appointment as Canon of the Cathedral)

For any queries please make use of the contact form below or use the contact details provided here: Contact Us

Organisational Chart

Metropolitan Chapter

President Archdeacon
Msgr. Joseph Bajada, S.Th.B., M.S.Th., J.C.D.(Spec.Iuris.), Cap.S.S. (23-01-2016)
Vice President – Dean
Msgr. Anthony Gouder M.S.Th., M.A. Matr.C.L. & Juris.,(31-03-2009)
Chancellor – Precentor
Msgr. Prof. Hector Scerri B.A. Phil., S.Th.L., S.T.D. (28.01.2018)
Administrator Treasurer
Msgr. Paul C. Vella,S.Th.L., J.C.L., Cap.S.S., S.M.O.M., Comm. S.S. (24-08-2021)
Msgr. Mario Tong (08-10-2021) Archpriest

Mgr Joseph Galea Curmi, S.Th.D (14.08.2015), Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General
Msgr. Mario Tong (08-10-2021) Archpriest
Mgr. Victor Grech B.A., Lic. D., M.O.M., Prel. S.S (16.09.1990)
Mgr. Lawrence Cachia Chap., Lic. D., M.O.M. (16.07.1994)
Mgr. Alfred Xuereb (14.03.1998)
Mgr. Vincent Deguara (26.07.2003)

Mgr. Joseph Mifsud Bonnici, B.A., Lic.D., (26.07.2003)
Mgr. Anton Vella BA., Lic.D., Dip. Trib. Eccl. Melit. (03.12.2005)
Mgr. Joseph Bugeja B.A., Lic.D. (11.02.2007)
Mgr. Tarcisio Delicata (11.02.2007)
Mgr Louis Camilleri, B.A., Lic.D. (11.02.2007)
Mgr. Carmelo Farrugia (11.02.2007)

Mgr. Lawrence Gatt B.A. Hons., Lic.D., J.C.D., M.O.M., Capp S.S. (29.11.2009)
Mgr. Anton Cassar B.A., Lic.D., M.A. (21.09.2014)
Mgr. Prof. George Grima B.A., Lic.D.,S.Th.D., M.A. (23.01.2016)
Mgr. Charles Cordina, Capp.S.S. (23.01.2016)
Mgr. Carmel Attard (23.01.2016)

Mgr. Frans Abdilla S.Th.L. (23.01.2016)
Mgr. Victor Zammit McKeon Capp S.S. (28.06.2016)
Mgr. Joseph Brincat (28.01.2018)
Mgr. Emanuel Agius M.A., S.Th.D., MQR (28.01.2018)
Mgr. Alfred Vella S.Th.L. (28.01.2018)

Mgr. Dr. Edgar Vella S.Th.L., Ph.D. (28.01.2018)
Mgr. Kalċidon Vassallo (14.08.2019)
Mgr. Richard Borg B.A., Lic.D. (14.08.2019)
Mgr. Paul C. Vella S.Th.L., J.C.L., Capp.S.S. (24.08.2021)

Coadjutor Monsignors

Mgr. Joseph Farrugia (28.01.2018)
Mgr. Dione Cutajar (14.08.2019)
Mgr. Vincent Cachia (14.08.2019)
Mgr. Alfred Camilleri B.A. Lic.D. (14.08.2019)
Mgr. Lawrence Zammit (14.08.2019)
Mgr. Valentino Borg M.S.Th. (14.08.2019)

Ad honorem
Mgr. Norrie Bonavia, B.A., Lic.D.
Mgr. Joseph Borg (Qormi)
Mgr. Joseph Bartolo
Mgr. Lino Grech S.Th.Dip., J.C.L., Capp.S.S.
Mgr. Carmelo Camilleri S.Th.Dip.

Mgr. Carmelo Mercieca S.Th.B.
Mgr. Mario Camilleri M.S.Th., Capp.S.S.
Msgr. Louis Suban, S.Th.L.
Mgr. Jesmond Manicaro S.Th.L., S.L.D.
Mgr. Michael Bugeja B.A., S.Th.B.

KTG – General Management Committee

John Gatt
General Secretary
Ms. Mariella Cutajar
Msgr. Paul C. Vella

Mgr. Mario Tong
Mgr. Alfred Vella
Mgr. Dr Edgar Vella
Dr. Petra Caruana Dingli
Lawrence Zammit

Cathedral Board

Mgr. Mario Tong

General Secretary
Ms. Mariella Cutajar

Marchesino Daniel De Petri Testaferrata
The Baron Francesco Apap Bologna
Mr. Frans Tabone
Arch. Catherine Galea
Mr. Jonathan Grima
Msgr Louis Camilleri

Museum Board

Chairman and Curator
Mgr. Dr. Edgar Vella
Mariella Cutajar
Mgr. Kalċidon Vasallo
Can. Dr. Nicholas Doublet
Dr. Gerald Montanaro Gauci
Mr. Alex Vella
Mr. Joseph Borg

Archives Board

Dr. Petra Caruana Dingli
Mr. Mario Gauci
Mgr. Prof Hector Scerri
Dr. Joan Abela
Dr. Frederick Aquilina
Ms. Mariella Cutajar
Can. Dr Nicholas Doublet
Prof. Stanley Fiorini
Mr. Joseph Schirò
Prof. William Zammit

Executive Committee

Msgr. Joseph Bajada
Msgr. Anthony Gouder
Msgr. Hector Scerri
Msgr. Paul C. Vella

Administrative Council

Msgr. Paul C. Vella
Msgr. Joseph Bugeja
Msgr. Valentino Borg

Mgr Joseph Bajada

Msgr Joseph Bajada, son of the late Anthony and late Theresa nee Buttigieg, was born in Msida , on the 28 July 1950. He received his primary education in a public school and later at the Lyceum. In 1975,he obtained a Bachelor in Sacred Theology, and in 1977, a Masters in Sacred Theology, from the University of Malta. He was ordained priest on the 19 June 1977. In 1979, he obtained his Licentiate in Canon Law (J.C.L.), at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. And in 1987 a Doctorate Summa cum Laude in Canon Law with Specialisation in Canonical Jurisprudence [J.C.D. (Spec. in Iuris.)]. His thesis was published in its entirety in the Analecta Gregoriana, Rome, in 1988.

In 1981, he was appointed Defender of the Bond, on the Metropolitan Tribunal of Malta and a Judge between 1987 and 2001. Since December 2001, he has been the Judicial Vicar of the Regional Tribunal of Second Instance (Appeal Tribunal). Between 1983 and 2015, he lectured in Canon Law in the Faculty of Theology, at the University of Malta. He also established and directed the Diploma Course in Matrimonial Canon Law and Jurisprudence under the auspices of the Maltese Episcopal Conference (1992-2008). In 2009, this Course was developed in a Master of Arts in Matrimonial Canon Law & Jurisprudence, at the University of Malta, and he served for some years as its Co-Ordinator. During his teaching career, he was Tutor and Supervisor on various theses within the Faculties of Laws and Theology. Between 2006 and 2015 he was a Member on Response Team for the Investigation of Sexual Abuses (Maltese Episcopal Conference).

For a time he offered his pastoral services at the Gzira Parish Church, from where he passed on to the Immaculate Conception Parish at Hamrun, where he is up to this day.

In 1993, he was nominated Cappellano di Sua Santità, (Cap.S.S.), afer serving on the Paritethical Commission that drafted the Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Malta on the recognition for civil effects of canonical marriage and canonical matrimonial cases.

In January 2016, he was nominated member pof the Metropolitan Chapter.

Msgr Anthony (k/a Anton) Gouder

Msgr Anton Gouder, son of the late Emmanuel and Carmela neè Vella was born in Senglea, on November 16, 1951. He received his primary education at the Senglea Primary School and later at the Lyceum, Hamrun. From the Royal University of Malta he graduated Bachelor of Sacred Theology (1975) in Philosophy and Theology and Master of Sacred Theology (1977) in Pastoral Theology.

He was ordained priest in June 19, 1977 and was appointed Assistant Parish Priest at the Senglea Parish. In the same year he was elected member of the Presbyteral Council and was appointed as Moderator of the same council from 1989 to 2001. He continued to serve as member until April 1, 2015 and again from 2022 onwards. On February 5, 1983 he was appointed Parish Priest of Christ the King Parish at Paola. He was elected Secretary (1983) and President (1984) of the College of Parish Priests.

In 1987 he was appointed as member of the Archbishop’s Consultors College where he served until April 1, 2015. In the same year he was appointed as member of the Caritas Core Group for Drug Prevention and Action where he served until December 31, 1996. On August 2, 1989 he was relieved of his parochial duties and appointed as Diocesan Pastoral Secretary until September 14, 2001. During this period he also served as member of the Diocesan Representative Council, Diocesan Pastoral Council and the Seminary Board. On September 15, 2001 he was appointed as Rector of Archbishop Seminary until 26th February 2007, when he was appointed as Pro-Vicar General to His Grace Archbishop Paul Cremona O.P. until April, 1 2015.

On March 31, 2009 he was nominated Monsignor Treasurer of the Metropolitan Chapter of Malta and on 5 th November 2019, I was elected Vice President of the Chapter. From January 22, 2011 up to May 7, 2018 he was appointed Special Delegate of the Archbishop to the Fergħa Ewkaristika,. In October 2015, he started reading M.A. (Matrimonial Canon Law and Jurisprudence) at the University of Malta and on November 28, 2018 he graduated summa cum laude Masters of Arts in Matrimonial Canon Law and Jurisprudence. On January 15, 2016, he was appointed Judge of the Regional Tribunal of the Second Instance.

Mgr Professor Hector Scerri

Mgr Professor Hector Scerri, from Santa Venera, born on 17 October 1965, received his primary education at Stella Maris School, Balzan (1969-1974), and his secondary education at St Aloysius’ College, Birkirkara (1974-1981). He later studied at Ġan Frangisk Abela Sixth Form (1981-1983). He entered the Archbishop’s Seminary in September 1984. Archbishop Joseph Mercieca ordained him deacon on 20 November 1991, and priest on 2 July 1993. He studied philosophy and theology at the Institute of Philosophy and Human Studies (Faculty of Theology, 1984-1987) and at the University of Malta (1988-1993).

After his ordination, he specialised in Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (1993-1998). In 1998, Archbishop Mercieca appointed him Vice-Rector of the Archbishop’s Seminary, Malta, a post he occupied for ten years. Since 1993, he has been offering his priestly duties in the parish of the Immaculate Conception, Hamrun.

Mgr Scerri has been a lecturer in Dogmatic Theology, University of Malta, since 1998. He was Head of the Department of Fundamental and Dogmatic Theology (2001-2016); and Deputy Dean, Faculty of Theology (2015-2019). He was member of the Senate of the University of Malta (2013-2015). He also lectures at the Seminary of the Sacred Heart in Gozo, and at the Augustinian Institute and the Pastoral Formation Institute.

He is the Censor theologicus of the Archdiocese since 2000. He is also President of the Doctrinal Commission of the Maltese Episcopal Conference since 2008, and President of the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission since 2008. He was Chairperson of the Malta Ecumenical Council from 2014 to 2022.

Pope Francis appointed him Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity in 2014. He is the Founder-President of the Maltese Patristics Society (2015). The Holy See named him Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need, Malta (2017).

Archbishop Scicluna created him member of the Metropolitan Chapter on 28 January 2018. Since January 2022, he occupies the office of Chancellor of the Chapter, and since November 2022, he is its Precentor.

He is a member of various international societies. He has delivered peer-reviewed papers at Oxford, Durham, Rome, Paris, Helsinki, Strasbourg and Heidelberg. He has authored or edited fourteen books and has published over sixty articles in peer-reviewed journals.

MSGR Paul Carmel Vella – Administrator, Treasurer and Rector of St John’s Co-Cathedral

Monsignor Vella, born on September 23, 1961, from Siggiewi, received his formation for priesthood at the Archbishop’s Seminary Tal-Virtù, Rabat, and continued his studies at the Faculty of Theology, University of Malta. He was ordained as Deacon on December 3rd 1986, and ordained to Priesthood on Friday 8th July 1988. Monsignor Vella was appointed personal secretary and chaplain to former Archbishop Joseph Mercieca, he was also nominated Delegate for the Liturgy in the Archdiocese, and Master of Ceremonies both of the Metropolitan Chapter and for the whole Archdiocese. He furthered his studies in Canon Law at the Pontifical Lateran University, in Rome (1995 – 1997) and the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, in Rome (2013 – 2016). From 1997 till 2001, Mgr. Paul Carmel Vella served as the Defender of the Bond at the Metropolitan Tribunal of First Instance, and on November 1st 2001 he was nominated by His Grace the Archbishop as Judge at the said Tribunal. In 2016 he was nominated Chaplain at St Peter’s Monastery in Mdina and in December 2017 created Provost-Archpriest of the Saint Helen’s Collegiate in Birkirkara. 

On January 25th 2007, he was created Chaplain of His Holiness the Pope with the title of Monsignor. In 2010, the Order of Malta nominated Mgr. Vella Chaplain of Magistral Grace (2010) and Conventual Chaplain in 2012. The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre created Mgr. Vella as Knight Cleric in 2019 and in 2022 was elevated to the rank of Commendatore.   

On the 1st of September 2021, Mgr. Vella was nominated Rector of St John’s Co-Cathedral, and member of the Council of the Foundation of St John’s Co-Cathedral, as well as Judge of First Instance for the Diocese of Gozo. On the 6th December he was created Rector of Our Lady of Victories Proto-Church in Valletta. It was on the 7th February 2023, during the monthly ordinary meeting of the Metropolitan Chapter, that Mgr. Vella was elected Administrator and Treasurer of the same Metropolitan Chapter.

Msgr Mario Tong – Mdina Archpriest

Msgr Mario Tong, Archpriest of St Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral in Mdina, was born on the 29th April 1953 and grew up in Paula. He received his education at the Paula Primary School, the Minor and Major Seminary and the Faculty of Theology at the University of Malta.

He was ordained priest on the 19th June 1977 by Archbishop Joseph Mercieca. At the request of the Bishop of Gibraltar he began  his pastoral ministry there, and in May 1978  was appointed Parish Priest of St Joseph the Worker Parish. He served two other terms in the same Diocese: assisting at the Cathedral and Chaplain of the General Hospital (2013-2015) and as Parish Priest and Administrator of the Cathedral Parish (2017-2019).

Msgr Mario Tong did pastoral work also in the Diocese of Rockville Center on Long Island, New York (1990-1996) as Associate Pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish in Centerport.

Here in Malta he served as Parish Priest in Marsaxlokk, St Joseph the Worker in Birkirkara, Archpriest in Mosta and St. Paul’s Shipwreck Collegiate Church Valletta, Parish Priest in Ibrag, and recently  worked at the Marriages Office at the Curia.

In July 2021  Archbishop Charles J Scicluna appointed him a member of the Metropolitan Chapter and Archpriest of St Paul’s Cathedral in Mdina. The official installation took place on the 8th October 2021.

Mariella Cutajar

Ms Cutajar has previously occupied roles in Human Resources, Finance, Quality and Production at Playmobil Malta Ltd and Lufthansa Technik Malta Ltd. She was appointed administrator by the ‘Kumitat Tmexxija Ġenerali’ (KTG) which is a committee assisting the Metropolitan Chapter in managing and administering the three entities mentioned above. Ms Cutajar studied Management at the University of Malta.

In January 2023 Ms Mariella Cutajar assumed the role as the General Secretary for Mdina Cathedral, Museum and the Archives. In the past 8 years, Ms Cutajar has set various Standard Operating Procedures to ensure a smooth running of the various operations within the entities. She was also instrumental in building  a workforce instilling dedication, passion and flexibility.  Together with the input of the 3 Managerial Boards, major projects were carried out such as: the restoration of the cupola and  the Apside of the Cathedral, (The Apside being restored via the EU Funding), the  opening of new halls within the Museum together with the restoration of  various artifacts, and also the set up of a new Library at the Archives.

The new role of Ms Cutajar shall also present its challenges. She will ensure that the 3 entities shall keep up with the ongoing changes to preserve our  showcases of culture and heritage  and make sure that they are  known to the many artists, researchers, students and the local public in general, together with the tourists that visit our islands.

Contact Us

For any queries please make use of the following contact or by filling in the form provided:

Mdina Metropolitan Chapter

Administrator’s Office

St. John’s Co-Cathedral
St. John Street, Valletta VLT1156

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday: 8:3o16:00hrs
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Tel. +356 21 239582

Email: adminoffice@metropolitanchapter.com