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.
It has been a challenging 20 months for all of us dealing with the pandemic. In early summer, we thought we had seen the light at the end of the tunnel and could return to some semblance of normal.
At that time, we decided to move ahead with plans for our 2022 Pilgrimage to Lourdes. During this period of optimism, the Western Association decided to have an early pilgrimage to Lourdes at the beginning of September. The timing of the pilgrimage coincided with an increase in the Delta variant here and in Europe.
Unfortunately, despite all of the pilgrims having been vaccinated and tested before leaving, they had five positive cases while in Lourdes. They isolated those pilgrims and kept them in France under the care of their medical director until the quarantine period ended.
After the remainder of the pilgrims returned home on their chartered plane, an additional 24 people tested positive for Covid. These were all vaccinated people.
After discussing the situation with our medical team, it was felt that we couldn’t take the risk of bringing Malades to Lourdes. Therefore, we have decided to again cancel the pilgrimage to Lourdes.
Some of you may wonder why we are making this decision so soon. The answer is that the commitment to charter the airplane and reserve the hotel rooms must be finalized now. Also, the applications for Malades would normally be sent out at this time to provide enough time for appropriate review. It would be unfair to give them false hope. We still feel the pain of our prior cancellations, when we had to tell the Malades that we were not going.
This decision is not easy but the overriding consideration in making it is the safety of our beloved Malades.
May God bless you and protect you and your families.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us and for all those for whom we serve.