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.
The American Association’s Pen Pal Program is becoming a popular way to become involved in our ministry. 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 once a month.
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 an innocuous mail box, from which letters are forwarded 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.
P.S. If you know of an inmate who wishes to connect with a Pen Pal, please pass on our information.