The origins of the Society of Christian Doctrine date from the beginning of the 20th century; or, to be more precise, the 7th of March, 1907 – the day when the first meeting was held between Fr Preca and a group of youths.
As a young priest, Saint George Preca was imbued with the idea of using lay men and women to serve the Church, primarily by helping them lead a truly Christian life and a dedication to evangelisation. Saint George Preca seemed to have been preoccupied with the state of catechism in the local Church. He had realised that although Malta was practically all Catholic and all the population was church-going, most Maltese Catholics knew very little about the truths of Christianity. In general, religion was based on the practice of popular devotions and little else.
When still a student at the Bishop’s seminary, Saint George Preca befriended a group of young men in his parish, who used to spend their time talking and playing football in front of the church after their day’s work. He very quickly made friends with them and started talking to them about matters that interested them. He made a deep impression on them, particularly on a young Dockyard worker, Eugenio Borg, who was to become his life-long companion in the foundation of the Society. Eventually, on the 7th March 1907, a small dwelling was rented to serve as the first centre of the Society. The Society spread rapidly, opening Centres in many parishes around Malta. This led to an official inquiry ordered by the then Vicar General Mgr Salvatore Grech to look into the Society and its activities. After many years, the inquiry finalized its report on the Society’s work, recommending only small alterations to the basic rules. Eventually in 1932 the Society was canonically approved for the dioceses of Malta and Gozo by the Bishop of Malta, Dom Mauro Caruana OSB.
The women’s section of the Society was founded in 1910 and followed the same spirituality as that lived by the male section. Although the two sections of the Society share a common ideal and follow a similar pattern of activities, they are totally independent of each other, with separate administrations. The General Superior serves as a sign of unity between the two sections of the Society.
Societas Doctrinæ Christianæ M.U.S.E.U.M.
St George Preca Street
Marsa MRS 9090