About the Order The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and Malta is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilization. The 13,500 Knights and Dames remain true to its inspiring principles – nurturing, witnessing and protecting the faith and serving the poor and the sick.
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 over 30 Areas 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 at over 100 hundred organizations, including food banks, hospitals, pregnancy support centers, homeless shelters and mentoring programs for at risk children.
Four Knights, Dames, and Auxiliary are involved in a chapter of the National Child Christ Society as volunteers. Christ Child Society is a not-for-profit association dedicated to the service and clothing of needy infants and children in the love and spirit of the Christ Child. Members purchase and distribute new winter clothing and shoes to 4,500 children and infants in need each year. The also stock clothing centers, interview clients, perform clerical duties, make and assemble layettes, and tutor and mentor at one of South Bend’s inner city schools. Age appropriate books are given to each child as he/she leaves the Center to encourage reading at home. This project originated in 1947.
Lourdes Day of Grace and Healing
For those unable to join us in France, Knights, Dames, and Auxiliary plan and facilitate a representation of the Annual Lourdes Pilgrimage for friends and neighbors each year. Venues have ranged from the University of Notre Dame to local assisted living centers. Activities include rosary, washing with Lourdes water from that year’s pilgrimage, anointing of the sick and Mass. This project originated in 2011.
A Rosie Place
A Rosie Place serves medically fragile children and their families by providing skilled respite care to these special children, from birth to the age of 21. A member of our Order serves as a volunteer committed to empowering families, educating professionals who care for these children and providing exceptional medical care in an environment that fosters the growth and development of these children. This project originated in 2008.
Bringing Lourdes to Northern Indiana
Many years ago we brought our annual Lourdes Pilgrimage to our friends and neighbors in Northern Indiana. Held at the famous grotto at the University of Notre dame, there were talks for the malades and their care-givers, a rosary procession, washing with Lourdes water, the sacrament of Anointing and Holy mass. Assisting our own chaplains were Frs. Robert Dunn and Thomas Lynch from the Archdiocese of New York.
As many of you know Fr. Dunn is the chaplain of the Westchester NY Area. He was so impressed with the day that he made a brilliant variation in bringing the Lourdes day to the residents of the nursing facility where he lived. He even wrote a beautiful rosary meditation about the life of St. Bernadette that allows residents to identify their own situations with hers.
We recently brought this “Lourdes in a box” (as Fr. Dunn likes to say) to the residents of three nursing facilities during the last year and hope to do more very soon. Although the directors of the nursing facilities never expect their residents to be very much interested in the event, in every case we have received an immediate invitation to return.
I personally brought a woman down in a gurney who had recently returned from the hospital. Her mood was as crooked as her body. Over the course of the event I watched her mood change from “dropping f-bombs” every time the gurney hit a bump, to intensely watching and listening and finally to what could only be described as radiance as she gazed at our Lord during the consecration at Mass. Weeks later during an Octoberfest celebration another resident walked up to the director saying, “It was so beautiful”, to which the director asked, “The Octoberfest?” “No” said the woman said, “Lourdes Day”. The buzz word today is “Dignity” to which is often attached the word “Death.” Whereas it should be “Aging with Grace and Confidence”.