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.
One of the major problems in our society is that of recidivism. In the course of a three year time span, some 65 percent of the previously incarcerated will land back in prison. There are many reasons for this but certainly the difficulty in finding a job and a place to live, illness and the loss of a driving license are major factors contributing to this.
Prison Ministry in the Order of Malta has a number of programs and resources to combat recidivism.
Boston Area Prison Ministry Volunteers
In Florida, we offer the “Florida Social Services Guide to Public Assistance Agencies for the Benefit of Exfelons and the Homeless” and the “Florida Employment Directory”. These booklets provide information of companies that will consider hiring the previously incarcerated, where to go to find a place to live and to seek medical attention, how to get your driving license restored, how to write a resume and to prepare for a job interview and much more. Efforts are underway to prepare similar booklets in other states.
In the State of Connecticut, Project Prodigal brings together business men and incarcerated men who are scheduled for release within a year. The business men work with the incarcerated to prepare them for job interviews by preparing a resume, building their confidence and establishing contacts. When the man is released, in many cases, a job and a place to live are waiting for him. Click here to view a video of Project Prodigal.
Connecticut’s Malta Justice Initiative has also developed a wonderful publication, The Justice Imperative, which is an excellent source for learning about the current state of our prison system in the United States and the directions it will go in the years to come.
Members are involved in other transitional housing/mentoring projects whereby recently released persons will have a structured place to stay until they are ready to reenter society.