Answering the Call
“You’ve had a special invitation, you’ve had a call, and you have responded to that call to grow deeper in the Spirit.” That was how Craig Gibson, Co-Chair of the Boston Area, welcomed candidates to the Order of Malta’s online formation program in September. Five members with expertise in the various workings of the Order joined Craig and Nancy to introduce the year-long formation program to the Boston Area candidates.
Four Pillars of Formation: Msgr. James P. Moroney: Msgr. James P. Moroney, ChM, one of our Boston Area Chaplains, and Pastor of St. Cecilia’s Church in Leominster, Massachusetts, described the four pillars of formation: spiritual, academic, pastoral, and human. “God calls you in your wholeness right now, at the very point you’re at, in order to begin a process of formation of your head, your heart, your hands, and your whole being, and God transforms you,” Mgsr. Moroney shared with the candidates.
Year of Formation Curriculum: Ed Delaney: Traditionally held during a weekend retreat, which could be costly and difficult to schedule, the formation curriculum this year is being provided via an online program. “One of the goals was to have a standard curriculum for all of our candidates across the 31 Areas of the American Association,” said Ed Delaney, a longtime member of the Order who has organized the curriculum. The program consists of eight modules, which cover a wide array of topics, including the Daily Prayer, history, spirituality, structure, pilgrimages and others.
Pilgrimage to Lourdes: Nancy Gibson and Karen Deane: Nancy Gibson, Co-chair of the Boston Area, and Karen Deane, a pediatric nurse who has made 28 pilgrimages to Lourdes, spoke of their experiences. Nancy highlighted that there is no cost to the malades and that a charter flights carries everyone to France. “The malades and the caregivers are able to bathe in the healing waters, and that is an extraordinary experience,” she said. Karen Deane noticed on her first pilgrimage that there were no children on the trip and was told she could bring them in the future. “So the following year we had 18 kids on the trip. And the kids’ program has grown from there.” She added, “Everything gets put into perspective during your time at Lourdes.”
Membership: Stacey Reisman Helping Boston Area candidates navigate the process of preparing for the annual Investiture is the role of Stacey Reisman. She keeps candidates up to date on the schedule, encourages them to submit the proper paperwork, and serves as a touchstone. “I’m here to help you through whatever you need,” she said. It doesn’t have to be related to the application either. I’ve been in the Order for a while, so I can help you with other things as well.”
Hospitaller Works and Ministries: Christopher Lee: “We’re all Hospitallers if we’re members of the Order of Malta,” said Christopher Lee. “It’s in our name; it’s in our character.” Christopher, who has been involved in Boston Area programs that reach out to those in need over the past 5 years, reviewed the Order’s Hospitaller works. He also highlighted the community aspect of that work. “It’s not just the strength of my hands but the strength of all of our hands reaching out together,” he said.
Candidates were made aware of the Order’s regulations as well as online resources, including the Regulations and Commentary book and the Spirituality in Action Resource Book. The program was followed by Mass, live streamed from St. Cecelia Parish in Leominster, Massachusetts with Msgr. Moroney as celebrant.
Many thanks for being radiant signs of God’s love in the world today!
Blessings, good health, and love.