On October 21, the Federal Association invested 57 new knights and dames, as well as six chaplains. Donald Cardinal Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, DC, was the principal celebrant for the annual Investiture Mass held in St. Matthew’s Cathedral.
During his homily, Cardinal Wuerl spoke to the Class of 2017 of being evangelizing disciples with unique characteristics to inspire others – boldness, connectedness to the Church, a sense of urgency, and joy. He spoke of four significant questions, where the “answers become those foundation blocks of our faith.”
“The anthropological: what does it mean to be human, created in the image and likeness of God?
“The Christological: what does it mean to be a Christian?
“The ecclesiological: what does it mean to be a member of the Church? and
“The soterological: what do we mean by the Kingdom of God?
“…When we receive the cross and wear the cross, we remind ourselves who we are and what it means to be a Knight and Dame of Malta, someone who stands firmly on the foundation of our understanding of who we are, what it means to be a Christian and a member of the Church, and how we participate in the glorious work of manifesting God’s kingdom.”
A full copy of Cardinal Wuerl’s homily can be found here.
Following the Mass, Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, WI spoke at the investiture Luncheon at the Mayflower Hotel, where he shared the story of Adele Brise and the Marian apparition in Champion, WI. He reminded us all of Adele’s passion for sharing the catechism with children, and he encouraged us to receive communion for those that are not currently in communion in the Church.
Also at the Investiture Luncheon, Margaret Melady, president of the Federal Association, presented the following awards:
- Barbara Laughlin, President’s Award for her work as chair of the Grants Committee;
- Paul Kelly, President’s Award for his work with the mobile clinic in Hartford;
- Les and Taffy Hewitt, President’s Award for their work in both Houston and on the Our Lady of Good Help Pilgrimage;
- Gaby DeLeon, President’s Award for his efforts with the Wounded Warrier Project in the DC area; and
- Christie Chorbajian, Outstanding Auxiliary Member Award for her spiritual service at the Malta House and volunteer service at St. Ann’s Infant and Maternity Home.
Prior to Saturday’s big events, the board met on Friday morning where it discussed and approved a campaign to strengthen the Lourdes endowment fund. The annual meeting and luncheon followed. The prelate of the Order, Msgr. Jean Laffitte, recalled the heroic Christian witness of St. Teresa of Calcutta, and encouraged the members at the luncheon to strive for personal holiness, especially as they perform the works of the Order. Marla David was awarded the cross Pro Merito Melitensi for her years of selfless service to the Lourdes pilgrimage and the Lafayette region.
The Defense of the Faith program, now very much a part of Investiture Weekend, was first added to the agenda in 2010, with Cardinal Wuerl was the first presenter. He returned to speak this year, about the role of clergy and laity in the formation of conscience in today’s culture and society. Highlights of his talk included the following:
— To go out is to be able to leave our comfort zone and actually reach out to those who perhaps should be with us and are not, and with whom we may have regular contact.
— To encounter means to carry on our ordinary, daily life, but this time aware that many of the people we meet, work and recreate with may really know very little of the values that we cherish, of the wonder of the Gospel message and of the joy that it brings.
—That fact brings us to the action of engagement. We have to be open to initiating a conversation or responding in the midst of conversations that challenge the values that we hold dear. Sometimes this can take on the form of a simple “I have another take on that” comment when you hear people talking about life, actions, values, morality in a way that ignores Christ, his Gospel and our own appreciation of the Good News. Then it falls to us to be the witness and to have the courage to be able to say, “You know I see things a bit differently than that.”
A full transcript of Cardinal Wuerl’s talk can be found here.
The weekend concluded with the annual gala dinner. The photo gallery for this year’s Investiture weekend can be found here. To access the gallery, enter password: Malta2017; to download pictures, enter password: kom2017.