Order of Malta


Subpriory of Our Lady of Lourdes Annual Retreat


The Subpriory of Our Lady of Lourdes was honored to have His Most Eminent Highness, Frà John Dunlap, Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta, in attendance at its annual retreat this year. Over a five-day period (May 28 to June 2, 2024), about 70 Professed and Promised (in Obedience) members of the Subpriory gathered at St. Joseph’s Retreat Center in Malvern, PA for its annual retreat led by Msgr. James Watkins, ChC, principal chaplain of the Subpriory, and Hugh Dempsey, GCMOb, Acting Regent of the Subpriory. Members in Obedience are required to participate in a annual retreat.

The theme of this year’s retreat was: “The Name of God is Mercy: The Order of Malta as God’s Field Hospital.” Conferences tied to this theme were led by our Chaplains: Msgr. Watkins; Fr. Joseph Cavoto, OFM; Fr. Eric Hollas, OSB; Fr. Tim Brown, SJ; Msgr. Douglas Mathers; and Fr. Richard Mullins. In addition to Morning Prayer, daily Mass, Evening Prayer and Compline (Night Prayer), there was time allotted every day for Confession and personal conferences with individual chaplains, Stations of the Cross, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. Our concluding Mass on Sunday, the Feast of Corpus Christi, included a Eucharistic Procession to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the grounds of the Retreat House.

Members in attendance also gathered for an annual meeting, led by the Subpriory’s Council, at which changes in the Subpriory’s proposed by-laws were discussed. In accordance with the new Constitution and Code of the Order, a new Subprior or Regent will be elected by the Professed members of our Subpriory. He, in turn, will appoint new officers (Chancellor, Receiver/Treasurer, Hospitaller) for six years. In addition, a Nominating Committee will be set up to nominate candidates for the other 4 elected positions on the Board: 2 Second Class (in Obedience) and 2 Third Class candidates to be elected by our members. As the Subpriory is comprised of both American and Federal Association members, one Second Class and one Third Class member will be elected from each Association. A Chief Chaplain will also be elected by the Chaplains. Terms of the existing Council officers expire at the end of this year so it is hoped that the new By-laws will be approved by the Sovereign Council in June and changes in procedure can be implemented to allow for elections by year-end.

New procedures for candidates interested in making a Promise of Obedience were also discussed, including the application process, the year of formation and the three-year period of Simple Promise. Anyone wishing to learn more about the process, or aspiring to Obedience should click here to contact Bob Tanzola in the American Association or click here to contact Shep Abell in the Federal Association.

Professed members of the Subpriory remained for another 3 days to complete an eight-day retreat.

Save the date for the annual retreat in Malvern next year: May 27—June 1, 2025.

Order of Malta

American Association, U.S.A
St. Patrick’s Cathedral Parish House
14 E 51st Street
New York, NY 10022
(212) 371-1522