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 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.
Candidates for admission to the Order participate in a Year of Formation. During this time, they learn the history of the Order as well as the spirituality of the Order. They participate in religious exercises, retreats and days of recollection. They participate in a “hands-on” way in Order of Malta projects, works, ministries or Brother Gerard Projects. As a Hospitaller Order, those preparing learn how to find Christ in the faces and lives of the sick and the poor. Following the completion of this year of formation, they are first approved by the Admissions Committee of the Association, the Board of Councillors and ultimately by the Sovereign Council and Grand Master of the Order in Rome. With final approval, they participate in a Solemn Ceremony of Investiture at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Candidates participate in a solemn procession with the Cardinal Archbishop of New York, the Principal Chaplain of the American Association. With the Cardinal presiding, the President of the Association, representing the Grand Master of the Order, invests the new candidates. As part of the ceremony in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, each candidate recites the following:
I promise, calling on the name of God, in chivalrous fidelity, always to bear witness to the Catholic Faith, to defend the Church, and to lead my life in accordance with the teachings of Holy Mother Church. I declare myself ready to obey the Constitution, the statutes, and the Rule of the Order, and to fulfill with fidelity and diligence whatever the Order and my superiors impose on me. To all this, so help me God, our Lady of Philermo, Saint John the Baptist our glorious patron, Blessed Fra’ Gerard our founder, and all the Saints of our Order. You here present I also call to witness my commitment.
On the evening of the Investiture, the American Association conducts its Annual Dinner, a formal white tie occasion, to celebrate the newest members of the Association.