Gathering at the Providence College Chapel for Mass, members of the Order of Malta from Rhode Island who are coordinating the newest Malta Walks are joined by college students who will encounter the Order of Malta for the first time serving the homeless together. The group proceeds from Mass to assemble care packages of meals, cold weather needs, such as hand warmers, hats and gloves, and gift cards at Our Lady of Providence Seminary. Packages in hand, the team makes its way to a 6 PM general meeting time for Order of Malta members and other volunteers at Providence’s Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul before setting out into the streets to encounter the homeless.
Providence Malta Walks has drawn Order members from Rhode Island and Massachusetts in the Boston Area as well as from the neighboring Eastern Connecticut Area.
The third Malta Walks established, Providence’s new project follows upon the success of Boston Malta Walks that have been ongoing every other Wednesday night since early 2015. Malta Walks Coordinators in Boston saw that they continued in that city throughout the pandemic, transitioning through donations of hand sanitizers and facemasks from Boston Area members and Malteser International America into a supplier of personal protective equipment to the homeless during the height of COVID-19. The Pilot, America’s oldest Catholic newspaper, profiled the Boston Malta Walks and their COVID-19 role this past summer. Click here to read “Malta Walks Minister to Boston’s Homeless” on the Pilot website. It is hoped that Providence Malta Walks will continue the tradition as a community of Order members, auxiliary, and others in active apostolate to the homeless.
The Malta Walks pauses outside Planned Parenthood where Timothy Maynard, KM, leads the group in prayer for the sick and the poor, especially the most vulnerable human beings, the unborn.
What’s more, the community already forming around the Providence Malta Walks has found itself prepared to respond when sudden need has arisen! As participants prepared for a rainy night of walking to help our lLords the poor and sick of Providence, they were receiving donations of hats, blankets, and coats from the Saint Vincent de Paul Society of Coventry, R.I. On the day before the Malta Walks, local talk radio and television pointed out the growing tent city of homeless people on the grounds of the state capital. Responding, the Rhode Island Order members delivered a trunk full of blankets and coats to people in need at the state house. The next morning, the Order of Malta’s action was mentioned on R.I. talk radio, AM 630, Tara Granahan show. If you would like to support or participate in Providence Malta Walks, please click here to email Rhode Island Hospitaller Timothy Maynard.