February 28, 2013
Federal Association Volunteers Return to New Orleans - January 2013
Seventeen members, candidates, family, and friends of the Order of Malta, from the American and Federal Associations, worked to repair the homes of two New Orleans families from January 21‑24. The volunteers replaced steps and a small porch; cleaned, primed and painted the interior of a house; and installed kitchen cabinets, trim, and exterior siding. They worked for two families: the Ebarbs, who are retired parents of three and grandparents of four; and Mrs. Alice Cousin, a 79 year‑old wheelchair‑bound mother who cares for her granddaughter Angela, who has cerebral palsy.
Fr. Michael Leteer,
son of Charles Leteer, K.M., offered Mass daily at the Marriott hotel and on Wednesday, the group attended the children’sMass at St. Peter Claver Church in the Treme neighborhood. Fr. Michael Jacques, the pastor, praised the Order for its long‑standing commitment to New Orleans, noting that the Order, and some of the members attending the Mass, had been coming to work in the city since 2006, just after Hurricane Katrina. The hospitaller for New Orleans, Nic Bazan, hosted the volunteers at his son’s restaurant, Rio Mar, on Thursday night. He thanked the members for their service, and provided generous hospitality. Fr. Letteer noted that since 2006, the group of 17 volunteers present had worked a total of 107 weeks -
more than two years - on the Order’s New Orleans project. Please consider joining us in New Orleans for the week of March 10‑15, or March 24-29. - John F.X. Reilly
I’m happy to share this reflection in the midst of our Lenten season, a particularly important time for all Catholics but especially for the members of the Order of Malta. Lent reminds us of our threefold mission as Catholics: to become more prayerful while looking for ways to make the Eucharist the center of our lives; to examine our consciences to see where we’ve become complacent and might need to pull back from some of our worldly cares through fasting and penance; finally to look at ways we can become more involved in the community through service, seeing if we can’t make a difference through many of our Malta initiatives to help those who desperately need what we can provide.
Most Catholics try to do at least one of the above, if not all three, during the Lenten season. These days of renewal should be particularly important to us as we have entered the Order with the belief that our own spiritual journey and own personal growth are enhanced and strengthened by the Order of Malta. A number of us will celebrate the Easter season with a trip to Lourdes in early May: again, an opportunity for greater prayer, yes, some sacrifice and certainly greater service to our beloved malades.
So what is making this Lent special for you? What are the opportunities provided by your parish and local community to strengthen your faith? How is your membership in the Order challenging you to be a better Catholic and disciple of the Lord? These are questions I ask myself as I find that my own spiritual life needs to be strengthened by these six and a half weeks of Lent. Even we priests can become lackadaisical about the conversation we call prayer. I don’t pray enough and I don’t always pray well. Lent renews that commitment. Sometimes as a priest I become too satisfied with my life and forget the sacrifices made by so many who can’t afford food, don’t have jobs and can’t support their families. Fasting and penance remind me how lucky I am. A simple “Rice Bowl” on my desk, a visit to a shelter, a chance to feed the poor on the streets: these all remind me, in the words of Isaiah, that “This rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own.”
Finally, I’m encouraged to share more of my resources with those in need whether it be as I walk the streets of Washington, through regular collections like the Annual Cardinal’s Appeal or through my own contributions through the Order of Malta and its charities. I’m reminded of the need for almsgiving to our church and to those less fortunate.
In this year of faith, I encourage all of our members to look carefully at their own journey, where they are and where they want to be and to make a supreme effort to use these weeks as intended for renewal, spiritual growth and yes, for change. A happy and blessed Easter to you all. - Rev. Msgr. John Enzler, Magistral Chaplain and Chaplain to the Board
Report on Hospitaller meeting in Rome
February 7, 2013
Hospitallers from Associations throughout the world met in Rome at the Magistral Palace on Wednesday February 7.
After each Association gave a short report on what their Association accomplished in the past year, the conference focused on four main areas.
1) The Order’s Rome Office of Communications is launching a new data base called “Canto” which will require information on every project “owned” by an Association. Every hospitaller in the world will input information on these projects including who is served, how many members are involved, and what is the economic impact. Once this data is entered into this “Canto” system on the central website in Rome, it will be used to help members become more familiar with our great works, and their impact on local communities across the world. It will also serve to educate the media, political groups, and other important constituencies about our mission and the people we serve.
2) Associations were encouraged to have member trips to the Holy Land to help members learn more about our faith, and our Order’s importance there.
3) All Associations were encouraged to have at least one major project we own and operate under the name of our Order. Grants for these projects are available from the Global Fund for Forgotten People. We learned how to apply, and the criteria for qualifying for a grant from this Fund. Basically, the project must be owned and operated by an Association and serve those in great need of our help within their country
4) The hospitallers were reminded that all members of the Order are to be familiar with the rules of the Order. This will now become a part of the Day of Formation. Regions in our Association are encouraged to have discussion groups to study the rules of our Order. The small book, Regulations and Commentary was sent to members in 2011, but it is also available by clicking here.
Hospitallers also discussed other topics including the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, and our support of them, which today is primarily with food and funding to help them survive a terrible situation especially in Syria, and to some extent Lebanon where refugees from Syria are located.
Each Hospitaller also furnished a more detailed report in writing.
Ours will appear in our annual report expected to be published this spring
Our Federal Association’s Hospitaller meeting will take place in Washington on April 3. We seek input for that meeting and urge members to give your ideas and suggestions to your region’s hospitaller before our April meeting.
Click here to see the agenda for the Hospitaller meeting.
Admissions Committee Report
The Admissions Committee meets annually to review application for membership in the Third Class. The Committee currently consists of 9 members from different parts of the country. Each member carefully reviews and scores each Applicant and then attends a Committee meeting in Washington where each applicant is thoroughly reviewed, discussed and voted upon. This year the committee reviewed 56 applications and recommended 53 be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval.
We encourage members to begin the process of considering and selecting potential new members for 2014. The Committee wishes to thank the Applicant Sponsors for their role in selecting and qualifying candidates. Clearly identifying the length of time one has known the candidate and other relationships which shed light on the candidate’s background, achievements and fit for the Order are very helpful and important. The Sovereign Council has underscored the importance of candidate familiarity with the Rules and Commentary and as such the 2014 Application Form that will be issued and available on the Website and from the Office will be modified to contain a certification from the Candidate that they have read and understand the relevant sections of the Rules of the Order for Admission to the Third Class.
This year's candidate class consists of 31 men and 22 women from sixteen states. Texas and Pennsylvania had 8 applicants each and the District, Virginia and Maryland had 13 combined. The average age of the applicants is 53 with 2 in their 20s and 2 in their 30s. In addition, 2 applications that were approved last year will join the Formation Class this year.
I want to particularly thank our Committee members who execute this work so diligently and especially those who travel to DC for our annual review meeting. I also want to welcome three new committee members who joined us this year: Aisha Davis (DC), Brien Horan (CT) and Joshua Quail (IL). Finally and importantly, I want to salute two retiring but ever-faithful Committee members: Michael Lanahan (FL) and Anne Petera (VA) who have served the Association so well for many years. - Patrick J. Kennedy, Jr., Chairman
Mar 3 - 9 - Nicaragua - Order of Malta Medical Mission to Nicaragua. For information, please contact: Dr. Frank Schmidt
Mar 10 - 15 - New Orleans - Order of Malta Home Repair Program – work week # 3. Please here for details and sign-up sheet
Mar 23 - Annandale VA - Mass and Anointing of the Sick - click here
Mar 23 - Syracuse - Pancake Breakfast - Assumption Parish Center. Volunteers arrive 7:30 AM. Contact John Clark
Mar 23 - Wash DC – St. Ann’s Center for Children, Youth, and Families – Volunteers needed for annual Easter party; 11:30 am – 1:30 pm; contact Chrissy Page
Mar 24 - 29 - New Orleans - Order of Malta Home Repair Program – work week # 4. Please here for details and sign-up sheet
Mar 25 - Syracuse - Malta House Birthday Party. Volunteers arrive 2:30 PM. Contact Pat Fallon
April 4 - 5 - Wash DC - Day of Formation for candidates and sponsors of class of 2014
April 5 - Syracuse - First Friday Mass, Breakfast and Speaker - 7:00 AM. Contact Margaret Martin
April 20 - Wash DC - Federal Association Day of Reflection, Georgetown University; "I Was in Prison" will be the theme, and Rev. Michael Bryant, former chaplain to the Washington, DC Jail, will be the primary speaker.
April 29 - Lancaster, PA - Defense of Faith presentation -“Faith and Academic Life - An Evening with John Garvey, President of the Catholic University of America”; St. John Neumann Church; Mass - 6:30, presentation by Dr. Garvey - 7:30. For information, please contact Peter Scudner
Apr 29 - Syracuse - Malta House Birthday Party - Volunteers arrive 2:30 PM. Contact Pat Fallon
May 1 - 8 - Order of Malta Pilgrimage to Lourdes