Source: Melita Historica. [Published by the Malta Historical Society]. 4(1966)3(226-227)
MIZZI FORTUNATO P.. Priestly vocations in the Maltese Ecclesiastical Province (1911-1964), Malta, Pastoral Research Services. 1066, 55pp.
The Maltese Ecclesiastical Province was always flourishing with priestly and religious vocations. Up to our days, however, we could give only an average number of those who belonged to the Ecclesiastical state. The present work of Fr. Fortunate Mizzi completely filled this gap in our History by providing several comparative statistics that concern not only our Diocesan and religious clergy but also our population in the twentieth century. The study does not mean to investigate either the activities of the Church m Malta or the social reasons for the increase or decrease of vocations during the last fifty years. The unique aim of the author is to give a clear and exhaustive numerical picture of the Church in [p.227] Malta. Any Historian who in time to come will endeavour to inquire into any other aspect of the Church Role in our Island will find a great help in these statistics.
It is worthwhile noticing that the Religious vocations are in continual increase: on the other hand, the Diocesan clergy is always decreasing. ( In 1911, there were 734 Diocesan Priests and 228 Religious: but up to 1963. the Diocesan Priests went down to 578 and the Religious reached the number of 619. At the same time, we relatively had more vocations in the past years; in fact, in 1911, the ratio of the Priests to the population was 1 to 220, but in 1963 it was 1 to 313.
The. above mentioned factors are just a fragment from the many statistics found in this work, which is undoubtedly a most valuable book of reference to all those who are interested in the vicissitudes of the Church in Malta.
Fr. Alexander Bonnici O.F.M. Conv.