Malta – The Islands of Knights and Saints
Federal Association Tour
September 3 – 10, 2014
Currently there are two places available on this very special tour to Malta. Join us at the heart of the Mediterranean! Contact Bill Williams: E-mail or 540-660-2171.
April 10, 2014
This past week saw tremendous and thoughtful activity on the part of the Order's leadership. The board convened for one of it's regular meetings last week, and the Hospitallers from across the Federal Association met to share information, consider new challenges, and to discuss the varied activities and efforts designed to support the Order's varied and widely disbursed membership.
Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. played host to these festivities. Hospitallers from nearly all 25 regions gathered for a full and dynamic day of discussion surrounding the major issues effecting the regions. From discussing their good works, to contemplating challenges regarding grants and communication, the Hospitallers rolled up their sleeves to work on advancing the programs that would best serve our Lords, the poor and the sick, no matter what our particular activities are. Some of the board members joined those meetings and continued their service to the order as they convened their own full board meeting the following day. As the Board discussed major issues, the Class of 2015 began arriving to prepare for their Day of Formation on Friday, April 4. A robust 59 members joined together, in an event that marked the official start to the Year of Formation, wherein candidates learn of the history and spirituality of the Order, and participate in a series of service projects and spiritual activities. The process culminates in a Solemn Ceremony of Investiture the following October.
Rev. Msgr James Watkins, Magistral Chaplain, celebrated Mass in the Dahlgren Chapel before the morning presentations. Candidates were introduced to the Order’s 900-year tradition of caring for the poor and the sick and the defense of the faith from Robert Signorelli, Hospitaller for Houston, and Margaret Melady, Vice-President of the Federal Association. The “Regulations and Commentary” were also imparted, sharing the foundations of the Order that make up the foundation of and are the basis for the longevity of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. There was a short introduction to the works of the Order, including an overview of Malteser International, Holy Family Hospital, and of course our annual pilgrimage to Lourdes.
The staff of the Federal Association are to be commended for their leadership and hard work in organizing three full days with more than 100 people needing to be organized and supported, and grateful thanks on behalf of the leadership go out to all those who participated for taking time from their schedules and making the Order a integral part of their "normal" lives. While these individuals gathered in Washington, DC last week represent us all, it is the work of the members, day after day, that makes God's work through the Order present for thousands more. Whether it be bringing to life the word of God at the Catholic Cafe in Memphis, or lending a hand amidst the Chicago region at a soup kitchen, or attending a day of reflection, painting a building or praying, our members are the Order and the Order is its members.
We welcome the Class of 2015 to this confraternity and we pray for the renewed involvement of every member, with whatever time and resources they have to give. Hundreds will soon convene, along with our newest class, for the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, experiencing the mission of the Order of Malta firsthand, creating and renewing faithful alliances to improve the lives of those to whom we devote ourselves daily.
As our prayer so eloquently calls us to ask:
"Give me the strength I need to carry out this my resolve, forgetful of myself, learning ever from the holy Gospel a spirit of deep and generous Christian devotion, striving ever to promote God's glory, the world's peace, and all that may benefit the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. Amen."
In 2010, the Order’s Federal Association began what would become a new kind of “work” – supporting and praying for our neighbors who have been incarcerated and are returning to what we hope and pray are productive lives in society. At that time, the Washington, DC region put to use a $20,000 grant to fund 1,000 welcome home kids, containing critical needs. From bus tokens to tissues, clothing and spiritual reading materials, the interest from throughout the federal association grew with this effort, which is now engaged in supporting 30 new entrants to society from prison, with a greeting card ministry in which members communicate monthly with simple cards and gestures of compassion and encouragement with men and women throughout the greater Washington, DC area. The work co-chaired by Mike McGarry and Collins Whitfield continues to seek participants, invites your inquiries, and your prayers.
Two doctors and three nurses will be visiting Washington, DC from
Haiti, Sunday, May 4th to Saturday, May 10th. They are from Hospital
Sacré Coeur, Milot, Haiti. The Georgetown Visitation and Jesuit
communities have extended their hospitality and provided rooms. The
group will spend the week at Georgetown and Providence hospitals. They
will work on maternal and child health.
Help is needed to welcome the visitors after the hospital day and help
will be needed to provide intra city transport between Georgetown and
Providence from 8:30 to 5. Even though the visitors do study English
in the hospitals, translators (French) are welcome.
If you would like to help with transportation, sightseeing activities,
evening meals, etc. Please call or e-mail Joan Glasgow or 301-807-7500.
The Lourdes 2014 Pilgrimage is just over three weeks away. We will be updating the website with travel information and other details as it approaches. Be sure to visit the Lourdes Pilgrimage website for updates.