The American Association Founded in 1927 as the first association of the Order of Malta in the Americas, the association is headquartered in New York City with over 2,000 knights, dames and volunteers in 16 states working with the poor, sick and incarcerated and giving witness to the Catholic faith.
Spirituality Knights and Dames join the Order of Malta to pursue their spiritual growth over a path laid out by Blessed Gerard more than nine hundred years ago, seeking to nurture and witness the Faith and assist the sick and the poor.
Spirituality in Action Members are involved in hands-on work involving over one hundred organizations and ministries. Food banks, hospitals, pregnancy support centers, homeless shelters and mentoring at risk children are just some of the activities in which members engage.
Members of Knights of Malta, Northeast Florida, celebrate the feast of St Maria Goretti with Bishop Felipe Estevez, Bishop Baker, Fr Sal DiFazio at the girls’ home – Cenacolo Maria Goretti.
Cenacolo – Mary Immaculate
Mary Immaculate is the newest of the three Cenacolo communities, and ultimately it will become the residence facility for all of the young men. Currently, some twenty to thirty men are in residence there. Our Chapter brings food to Maria Goretti and Our Lady of Hope that is then distributed to Mary Immaculate.
Cenacolo – Our Lady of Hope
Approximately twenty young men having problems with substance abuse commit to a three-year period of residence of prayer, work, and meditation. We bring an SUV filled with food each week to meet their nutritional needs. In addition we provide weekly classes in small-engine repair to assist some of the men in finding employment.
Cenacolo – St. Maria Goretti
Saint Maria Goretti home houses about fifteen girls recovering from substance abuse. Each young woman commits to a three-year program of prayer, work, and meditation. We provide food on a
regular basis, and our member/master gardener assists the girls with gardening projects that provide activity as well as fresh produce for their table.
Almost every Catholic family has a friend or a relative who has strayed from the Faith. In an effort to focus the prayer of the organization toward conversion of these relatives and friends, we began a tradition of “Family Rosary.” We rotate the service among members’ homes one Sunday afternoon each month and pray for a reawakening of Faith.
Ve noted C.S. Lewis saying that he does not worry about the news media. He expects that his friends will tell him when to worry, and then he will just pray and fast. In response, membership
suggested that we begin a “fasting” program as a form of prayer for the state of our nation and the threats to religious liberty. As individual members, we have agreed to prayer and fasting on Wednesday of each week. The time commitment obviously varies from member to member, but we hope that at least one hour each Wednesday is devoted to prayer for these intentions.
Field of Dreams
Field of Dreams is a program to provide baseball participation for children with special needs. Our Area became involved this summer merely in a supportive role. But, we intend to take a more active role by helping to outfit teams with uniforms as well as to be physically present to cheer the players on.
Our Area began this prayer ministry several years ago in an effort to enlist Our Lady in support of our Nation. Knights and Dames in robes, assisted by Knights of Columbus in regalia, and the Boy Scouts in uniform dedicate each “Hail Mary” in the recitation of the Rosary to a separate State of our nation.
Two of our members have certified “pet- therapy dogs,” and bring their two dogs to Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville. Our couple brings one or other dog to the hospital every other Monday morning to spread joy and cheer to the ill children.
Malta Prison Ministry
Members minister to the men in solitary confinement at the two Florida maximum security prisons: Union Correctional Institution (UCI) and Florida State Prison (FSP) seven days each month, bringing the Eucharist to Catholics, Catholic literature, a smiling face and a willing ear to all.
Sanctity of Life Issues
We are active in many right-to-life efforts throughout our geographical area. These include prayerful protests at local abortion facilities, especially during Forty Days for Life, and participation in seminars directed toward an end to the death penalty.
Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine, FL
The carpeting in the Sisters’ bedrooms was quite old, frayed, and likely contributing to falls. Through the Grant Program of the American Association we were able to replace the carpeting in ten of
the Sister’s bedrooms.
Sulzbacher Shelter Food Service
We prepare and serve meals for the homeless and needy at the Sulzbacher on the last Sunday of each month with five Sundays. Several hundred people are served at each of the