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.
Strengthen the already effective working relationship of the involved Associations. Broaden Apostolate membership; regular communication with all Apostolate members using centralized and updated electronic contacts; semiannual meetings; create unified message and disseminate such through a common Apostolate website (plus Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).
Encourage increased membership participation through a letter from the Grand Master; distribution of an Apostolate Annual Report to all members (and Bishops); through the Grand Master seek an Apostolate meeting with the Pope; conduct Regional Masses inside the walls for Regional members.
Expand the reach of our inside the walls rehabilitation program with distribution of more Bibles, Prayer Books, Prayer Cards and The Serving Brother; increase pen pal participation; explore the Apostolate’s involvement in religious and civil education programs for the incarcerated such as Bridges to Life and/or that being conducted in the Angola Prison in Louisiana; expand and develop programs like “Get on the Bus” that bring families together.
Identify existing re-entry-to-society programs such as Dismas Home, Oxford Houses and Diocesan efforts to determine the roles that the Apostolate can play; create Apostolate reentry initiatives such as Project Prodigal, and the Social Service Guides focusing on housing, jobs, health services and mentoring.
Consistent with the respective Associations’ leadership approval, and working with both the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), educate our members on prison ministry issues such as the need for the abolition of the death penalty, relaxation of the mandatory sentencing guidelines, establishment of mental health resources for the addicted and/or the incarcerated, and available alternate approaches to incarceration particularly for those that are juveniles.
Work with Dioceses usually through Catholic Charities to identify prison ministry resources (including prison Chaplains/Deacons) and expand the role the Apostolate can play. Inform Bishops of the Apostolate’s work through the distribution of an Apostolate Annual Report.
It is anticipated that Associations’ budgeted and allocated funds will not be sufficient to implement this Strategic Plan. The Board is committed to locate the needed financial resources from members with specific Prison Ministry interests and organizations or foundations not affiliated with the Order. However, any outreach for such outside funds must be approved in advance by the respective Associations’ leadership.