The DC and Montgomery County Regions held their annual Sanctity of Life Mass on October 6 at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Potomac, with the Rev. Bill Byrne, one of our chaplains, celebrating. Thirty-five members of the Order of Malta attended along with the regular Saturday morning parish community. Since October is Respect Life month in the Church, Father Bill touched on respect for life in all its stages from conception to natural death.
At the brief reception that followed in the school cafeteria, the members held a Regulations and Commentary session, led by Hugh Dempsey, KMOb and Chip Souser, Jr., KMOb. Hugh and Chip provided an overview of the 900-year history of the Order for our group of potential candidates, incoming class members and long-time members. They encouraged all present to look to our eight-pointed cross as a guide to live out our promise as members of The Order of Malta, in studying and practicing the Beatitudes. Hugh and Chip also brought us up to date on how the Order is now a global ambassador of a sovereign entity in service to the poor and the sick.
The discussion ranged over projects very dear to members in attendance, especially prison ministry. Throughout the morning we were reminded of how, as we reach out to help others, we receive back many-fold in spiritual gifts toward our own sanctification. The poor and the sick allow us to transform ourselves and be servants of Christ.