Order of Malta

2017 Pilgrimage for Life


The American Association marched with hundreds of thousands of people from around the nation in Washington, DC, peacefully praying that our society will come to respect life from the moment of conception to its natural death. Co-chairs Nancy and Dr. Robert Graebe and Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky joined a contingent of members of the Order from the American and Federal Associations to make a statement about the value of life.

This year’s March for Life was moved from its traditional date to Friday, January 26th, because of the Presidential Inauguration. The events began the day before for the Knights and Dames from the American and Federal Associations with a Vigil Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It is fitting that this prayerful event began at the Shrine to our Blessed Mother that is dedicated to her own Conception. At the request of the USCCB, a small number of Dames and Knights were once again given the honor and privilege of escorting and assisting the disabled for the Vigil Mass. Karen and Bob Tanzola, Robert and Nancy Graebe, Joe Dutkowsky, Harvey Rowe, Janet Parry, Peggy Stanton, Gregory Oussani and Bill Williams participated. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Principal Chaplain of the American Association was the celebrant and homilist at this important opening Mass of the two-day events.

The American and Federal Associations gathered for Mass on Friday morning at St Patrick’s Church hosted by the Federal Association. The Celebrant was Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, a Conventual Chaplain from the Upstate New York Area. The Mass was also attended by two large groups of high school students from New Jersey and Maryland. The number of young people involved in the broad scope of activities was very heartening. American Association Joins in the March for Life 2017.

In the afternoon, members and guests from the American and Federal Associations assembled at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue. More than sixty Knights, Dames and volunteers marched behind the banner of the Order and under the Icon of Our Lady of Philermos carried by Knights of the Order. The group was led by Kenneth Sapeta who carried the Order of Malta flag. When they arrived in front of the Supreme Court building, they were led in the rosary by Bishop Scharfenberger. The group then began to sing hymns and were quickly joined in song by hundreds of the marchers as
they passed by.

Following the March, the group proceeded to the Church of the Holy Rosary where the American Association hosted a post March reception.They were joined by almost one hundred twenty Knights, Dames and guests, among them the Sisters of Life, for food and fellowship. On Friday evening, the American Association was represented at the Rose Dinner, where Cardinal Dolan, Chair of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, was the keynote speaker.

In an interview about the March for Life, Cardinal Dolan commented that more and more people are getting involved. And he noted that younger people are getting involved; he said they know that something is wrong with the culture of death that has gripped our beloved country, a country that was built upon the inalienable right to life. The Cardinal said that more and more people are standing up — as Jews, as Christians, as men and women of no religion, or any religion at all. The March continues because people of faith and of conscience believe that there is an obligation to protect those most vulnerable, “the most fragile, innocent form of life now under attack — namely the baby in the womb.”

Order of Malta

American Association, U.S.A
St. Patrick’s Cathedral Parish House
14 E 51st Street
New York, NY 10022
(212) 371-1522