Order of Malta


Striving To Be First Class Members of the Third Class


Boston Area Holds Final Guided Discussion on Spiritual Initiative Series

The Boston Area held its final guided discussion of the American Association’s Spiritual Initiative series in April. Rev. Msgr. Frank J. Caldwell, ChM, Magistral Chaplain, had presented and recorded the Module Six video, Admission to the Third Class and Regulations Regarding the Principal Functions of Priories and Associations Towards the Members.

Msgr. James P. Moroney, ChM, a Boston Area Chaplain and Rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul in Worcester, Massachusetts, once again guided the discussion. Highlights included:

  • Meaning of the Third Class: Msgr. Caldwell said the term third class should not be viewed as diminutive but rather as a way to differentiate the roles of the three groups in the Order. Members of the third class do not make promises of obedience, as members of the second class do, or profess ecclesial vows, as members of the first class do. “I would like to suggest that the Regulations of the Order that we’re reflecting upon in these talks over the last six months should be seen and embraced as a challenge for you, for us, to be what I might call first class members of the third class,” he said. He quoted St. Catherine of Siena, “Be all you can be, and you will set the world on fire.”
  • Rooted in the Parish: The importance of members’ participation in parish life was the main topic of discussion. Msgr. Moroney said the word parish comes from the Greek word for a wanderer. “This is the house of the wanderers, of those who are on pilgrimage. Parishes are, in a way, as Pope John Paul II once said, ‘The ships in which take our souls to heaven, amidst all of the churning of the sea and the chaos of the world.’” Several participants talked about the timing of the discussion given the return to Mass after the pandemic. One participant mentioned the importance of being there to hear the Word of God, receive the Eucharist, and to worship in community.
  • Ambassadors of Hope: Another participant focused on the part of the presentation that spoke to the role of members as ambassadors of hope. He said when he might be delivering food or visiting a prison, he tried also to bring hope.

“The opportunity to delve deeper into our faith through this terrific series augmented by the insightful guidance of Msgr. Moroney has been a blessing,” said Craig Gibson, Co-chair of the Boston Area. “Thank you to the American Association, the presenters, Msgr. Moroney and all who joined us on this leg of our faith journey.”

Order of Malta, American Association, U.S.A.

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