President Peter Kelly, MD, presented an overview on a conference call last Wednesday, February 21st that was joined by over 175 members who dialed in to hear his presentation. Dr. Kelly provided his perspective on a recent meeting in Rome where the Committees working on the reform of the Order presented their recommendations for discussion with leaders of the Order from around the world.
Association Hospitaller Gail Berardino introduced Dr. Kelly and opened the call with the Prayer for Intercession for the Order which had been developed and distributed by the Prelate of the Order, His Excellency Bishop Jean Laffitte. The call, one of a series of calls scheduled with the Association’s Area leadership known as Distance Learning Calls, was expanded to include all members. The Chaplains, Candidates in Preparation and the Auxiliary were also invited to join the call.
The expanded audience required a different process to manage what turned out to be nearly thirty questions that were directed to Dr. Kelly by callers from across the Association. Matt LaRose, from the New York office, managed the ‘switchboard’, taking questions from members who ‘raised their hand’ (technologically speaking) to ask a question.
Dr. Kelly was forthright and clear in his answers. Many of the questions dealt with the current discussions around the Order’s Sovereignty, the nobility requirements for the Grand Master’s position, and the possible changes for the professed Knights. Dr. Kelly indicated that no decisions have been made yet; the recommendations of the committees will be refined and adjusted based on the discussions at the meeting in Rome, will be presented at the meeting of the Order; if approved there, they will have to be presented to the Vatican.
The call was not recorded. Dr. Kelly had sent a summary of his planned discussion to all members prior to the call, knowing that many would not be able to be on the call. For those who were unable to attend the call who may have questions, please click here to email Dr. Kelly.
The success of the call will provide a format for future calls that the Association may use to provide updates to the membership.