A Message from the Lieutenant to the Grand Master, Fra' John Dunlap

The return to the Father's house of Fra' Marco Luzzago, Lieutenant of the Grand Master, on June 7 was sudden and totally unexpected. For all those who knew him and collaborated with him in his high functions, it was a real shock.

The number of messages and letters of condolence we received at the Grand Magistry, beginning with that of Pope Francis and numerous heads of state and government, as well as from members of the Order, volunteers and ordinary people was truly moving. The solemn funeral services celebrated in Rome by His Eminence Cardinal Silvano Tomasi paid due homage to the Lieutenant of the Order of Malta.

I wish to thank you for your participation in the mourning of this humble servant of the Order of Malta. Dear Fra' Marco was a Professed animated by a strong faith in the Lord and deeply devoted to our institution. A deep and lasting memory will remain of him.

As you know, the Holy Father, with Paternal Solicitude, wished to quickly secure new leadership for the Order. His concern was to ensure that the constitutional reform process, which is so dear to his heart and to all of us, did not suffer a further slowdown. By doing so, he allowed the Grand Magistry to return to full operation and not leave it in the condition where only ordinary administration could be assured. This is indeed the case with the government of the Lieutenant ad interim (Constitutional Charter, Article 17, para 1).

For my part, I can assure you of my utmost commitment so that the reform process can be completed as soon as possible, obtaining as much consensus and approval as possible, so that we can bring our Order back into the fold of its norms and procedures. From the outset, I will work constructively with the Special Delegate of the Holy Father and the Sovereign Council.

I ask for your help and prayers so that this effort may be successful, for the greater glory of the Order and in service of our Lords the sick and the poor. I thank you for your service and the many works carried out in the world under the auspices of the eight-pointed cross for the benefit of our most unfortunate of our brothers and sisters.

In assuring you of my prayers, I wish you all the best on the feast of St. John the Baptist.


Fra' John Dunlap