Central to the life of the Order of Malta is our service to the poor and sick, who we affectionately refer to as “Malades”. Our commitment manifests itself in our annual pilgrimage to the site of 17 appearances of our Blessed Mother to Saint Bernadette in Lourdes, France. This is the Order’s signature project in which 350 pilgrims bring 45 Malades with their companions each May.

Campaign Goal

As we all agree the financial responsibility for Malades and their companions participating in the pilgrimage should be borne by the Knights and Dames of the Federal Association, we must raise the endowment by an additional $6 million to a total of $8 million. This will secure the pilgrimage for Malades for many years into the future. We plan on reaching this achievement through multi-year gifts that are completed by May 2018.

FitzGerald-Callaghan Legacy

In 1974, not long after the first pilgrimage to Lourdes led by the Grand Master in 1963, Ambassador William H. G. FitzGerald, a founding member of the Federal Association, and his beloved wife, Annelise, began joining the pilgrimage and sponsoring Malades to come with them to Lourdes. The FitzGerald’s enthusiastic testimony to one and all inspired the growth of the pilgrimage, until finally the first sizeable contingent of almost 50 pilgrims from the Federal Association made the pilgrimage in 1989. 

Admiral Bill Callaghan, along with his wife Betty, were also among the very first members of our Association to participate on pilgrimage. In 1992, he succeeded Dr. John Collins Harvey as the third Chairman of the Lourdes Committee, and under Bill’s leadership the Federal Association’s group had expanded from 100 to 250 when he retired in ’06. His committee meetings were run with precision befitting a former Executive Officer of a US Navy carrier fleet, but there was always room for new ideas and a bit of humor. Committee members, Team Leaders and Association staff loved working for and with “the Admiral” as he was always called with respect and affection.

Tall, ramrod straight, and utterly imperturbable, Bill cast an imposing figure. However he also quietly served the forgotten among us through a determined outreach to inner-city parishes in Washington and Baltimore to see if the pastor might recommend a Malade, and then he called every Malade in advance of every pilgrimage to answer any questions they may have had. The Association was able to fund these Malades largely thanks to recurring annual support from the FitzGeralds. They understood that funding these Malades in their time of need was part of the members' responsibility in our care for them. They continued that care through a generous legacy gift which formed the core of current Lourdes Endowment Trust, which has reduced costs for Malades for the past ten years. 

For over forty years, thanks largely to these members living the mission of our Order through generous leadership and dedicated service, thousands of people from around the country have been able to answer the Blessed Mother’s call and visit her Shrine at Lourdes.

Adm. Callaghan (center) with committee members and team leaders in 1995.

Thank you to our Generous Lourdes Endowment Trust Supporters



Founding Malade & Companion Scholarship ($150,000)

Patricia K. Jones & Richard H. Jones

Katherine H. Lee & Matthew D. Lee


Founding Scholarship ($75,000)

Kathryn Abell & Shep Abell

Candace S. Johnson & Gregory F. Johnson

Robert W. Lively

Judith G. Martin & Clarence E. Martin III

Carol LuRee McGarry & J. Michael McGarry III

Kristin A. Mifsud & Charles A. Mifsud

Douglas A. Sandvig

Agnes N. Williams*


Lourdes Endowment Benefactors (Planned Giving)

Dr. James Cirincione & Sharon Cirincione

Judith G. Martin & Clarence E. Martin III

Margaret A. Martin

Margaret B. Melady

Kathleen Mezzalingua

Hon. Tim Murphy* & Barbara Murphy

Robert J. Signorelli & Kathryn R. Signorelli

Joseph A. Tronco Jr. & Katherine F. Tronco

Dr. Margaret M. Wheltle*


FitzGerald-Callaghan Circle ($100,000-$249,999)

Anonymous (1)

Craig M. Jarchow, Ph.D.


Grotto Circle ($50,000-$99,999)

Teresa Claugus

Michael Haverty & Marlys Haverty

Sandra McMurtrie

Kristin A. Mifsud & Charles A. Mifsud

Order of Malta- Syracuse Region

Barbara Patocka

Thomas Weiford & Sheila Weiford

MG (R) Thomas Wessels


Please click here to see the full donor listing.

TAX ID#: 52-1113253

For More Information:

Sydney Willis
Stewardship Coordinator
(202) 331-2494