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.
The Federal Association’s Pen Pal Program is becoming a popular way to become involved in our ministry. In two years, one hundred Knights, Dames, Auxiliary and Volunteers have joined the Program, which consists of (1) letting us know you would like to become a pen pal, (2) being given an inmate’s name to whom you would write, (3) being furnished “guidelines” and general pen pal information and (4) writing to your pen pal on a periodic basis (usually every four to six weeks).
The Pen Pal Program is a two way correspondence between you and an inmate. It is an anonymous relationship; you do not mention your last name and all incoming letters from your pen pal are mailed to the Federal Association’s Office, which in turn will forward the letters to you. Most of the inmates we write to have been identified by a Prison Chaplain/Deacon or other Religious persons, which has kept frivolous and/or inappropriate relationships to a minimum.
We can say from experience that you will get so much more out of this Program than you put into it. Studies and releasee testimonials show that writing to an inmate enhances self esteem and translates into a lower recidivism rate upon release.
If you are interested in joining with us, please contact the New York office of the Order of Malta. (New York will then pass this on to Madeleine Shakotko of the Federal office of the Order of Malta for transmission to Mike McGarry).