The Order of Malta’s doctors and psychologists tackle the new drama in the Strait of Sicily

The Order of Malta’s doctors and psychologists tackle the new drama in the Strait of Sicily

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The latest figures speak of over 300 dead. The Pope’s appeal

“Say what you like, but when you’re on a patrol boat in a force-8 sea and you go to rescue a small, half-deflated and sinking dinghy over 100 miles out, it’s more likely that you won’t find anyone than you’ll be saving lives,” says Mauro Casinghini, National Director of the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps, the day after the new tragedy off Lampedusa, in which over 300 immigrants died. A figure which is rising by the hour as the survivors testify to four dinghies departing from Tripoli with 460 refugees on board, including women and children, mostly coming from Mali, the Ivory Coast, Senegal and Niger.

The bad weather conditions caused one boat to sink a few miles out of Libya, while another lost air not long after and the third started to ship water. The Italian Coastguards managed to save the fourth dinghy last Monday with over a hundred

immigrants aboard, of whom twenty-nine were dead from hypothermia. The doctors, nurses and rescuers from the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps were also on board the patrol boats. Since 2008 they have been present on the island of Lampedusa with teams embarked on the main Coastguard and Navy vessels as well as the Finance Police boats.

“Not even the largest vessel, except for the Class 300 patrol boats – those with the orange dinghies – could have arrived faster to rescue the immigrants, already in serious difficulty, besides being exhausted,” Mauro Casinghini told us. “The Order of Malta’s people have helped to achieve a miracle, saving a least 70 refugees who without the intervention of those patrol boats would have ended up like all those other hundreds and hundreds who lie on the bottom of the Mediterranean”.

Just as in other similar tragic events, the Order of Malta’s Relief Corps’ psychologists arrived in Lampedusa to assist the Coastguards’ personnel and the Order’s doctors and nurses already present.

There was also the appeal of Pope Francis who, in his Wednesday audience in St. Peter’s Square, expressed his profound sorrow for yet another disaster at sea and added: “I wish to ensure you of my prayers for the victims and once again to encourage solidarity, in order that no one lack the necessary aid”.

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Cardinal Nycz, Archbishop of Warsaw, Bailiff of the Order of Malta

Cardinal Nycz, Archbishop of Warsaw, Bailiff of the Order of Malta

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The ceremony for conferring the Order of Malta’s Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion on the Metropolitan Cardinal of Warsaw, Kazimierz Nycz, took place yesterday in the Magistral Palace. Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing and the Cardinalis Patronus of the Order of Malta, Raymond Leo Burke, received the cardinal.

“With this meeting we pay homage to an exceptional personality in the Polish church, successor to memorable figures. We point out the important service he rendered for over sixteen years in Cracow, where in 1988 Saint John Paul II appointed him – an extremely significant choice, testifying to his high regard and trust – Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General,” said the Order of Malta’s Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, addressing Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz during the ceremony.

Fra’ Matthew Festing also recalled the close bond that unites the Order of Malta to Poland, dating back to the first millennium. During the 20th century this bond found its greatest expression in the courage and solidarity shown by the Order’s medical staff in the hospital that remained operative during the 1939 battle of Warsaw until the Nazi occupation.

At the end of the ceremony, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz addressed the journalists present, expressing his appreciation for the important health and social care services performed by the Order of Malta’s volunteers in Poland.

Ten years have passed since Saint John Paul II passed away and Cardinal Nycz recalled his words: “a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism”. Referring to the current economic and social crisis in Europe he added, “a unity of states cannot only be based on political, economic and financial values, but must first of all be underpinned by the values of solidarity”.

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Polish Knights of Malta, Inc is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as a public charity organization described in section 501(c)(3). Donations to the Polish Knights of Malta, Inc are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

The Cause for the Beatification of Fra’ Andrew Bertie will open on 20 February in Rome

The Cause for the Beatification of Fra’ Andrew Bertie will open on 20 February in Rome

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For the first time in the modern era canonization has been proposed for a Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta

The opening session of the diocesan inquiry into the Cause of the Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God Fra’ Andrew Bertie, 78th Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, will take place on 20 February at 11.30 in the Rome Vicariate at St. John Lateran. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of his Holiness for the Diocese of Rome, will preside over the solemn act. The hearing will be preceded by a Holy Mass celebrated in the Basilica of St. John Lateran by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Cardinalis Patronus of the Sovereign Order of Malta. This historic event will be attended by the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing, accompanied by the Sovereign Council, the relatives of the late Grand Master and the heads of the Order of Malta’s Grand Priories and National Associations from the five continents. Some three hundred faithful are expected from Germany alone.

A man with an intense spiritual life and profoundly convinced of the need to continuously strengthen the international solidarity network, Andrew Bertie was admitted to the Order when he was only 27 and devoted his life to prayer and charitable works, honouring the task entrusted to him until his death after illness in February 2008. Fra’ Andre Bertie oversaw great changes within the Order of Malta such as the expansion of the humanitarian activities and the reform of the constitutional charter. His legacy also includes a renewed emphasis on the spiritual life of the members of the Order. Furthermore, during his magistery, the Order’s bilateral diplomatic relations rose from 49 to 100.

In office from 1988 to 2008, Grand Master Andrew Bertie’s life was always inspired by principles of faith. His profound spiritual and human virtues, and not least his commitment to practise the Order of Malta’s founding motto “witnessing the faith and assistance to the poor” (Tuitio Fidei, Obsequium Pauperum), meant that in February 2013, only five years after his death (the minimum term envisaged by canon law) the request to initiate the procedure for his Beatification and Canonization was presented. This was a significant anniversary, because in that year the Order of Malta celebrated the 900th anniversary of its official recognition by Pope Paschal II.

The work Fra’ Andrew Bertie performed during his lifetime was for many an example of moral integrity and spiritual inspiration, hence his many faithful followers both in Italy and abroad, and in particular in those countries where the Order of Malta is present with its humanitarian activities.

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Polish Knights of Malta, Inc is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as a public charity organization described in section 501(c)(3). Donations to the Polish Knights of Malta, Inc are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

The Sovereign Order of Malta New Associate State at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean

The Sovereign Order of Malta New Associate State at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean

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The 9th Plenary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, hosted by the Principality of Monaco between 2 and 4 February last, officialised the Sovereign Order of Malta’s membership with the status of Associate State.

“Parliamentary diplomacy meets humanitarian diplomacy to continue efforts to assist civilians in emergency and conflict zones,” stated the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, senator Francesco Amoruso.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean and the Sovereign Order of Malta, with its membership validated during the Plenary Session, confirmed their joint intention to ensure that Mediterranean parliamentarians remain well aware of the humanitarian needs of conflict-affected populations.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean is a regional interstate organization, and is an Observer at the General Assembly of the United Nations. Its principle goal is to foster stability and promote peace in the Mediterranean presenting opinions and recommendations to national parliaments and governments, regional organizations and international fora.

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Polish Knights of Malta, Inc is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as a public charity organization described in section 501(c)(3). Donations to the Polish Knights of Malta, Inc are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Over 80,000 meals distributed in 2014 by the Order of Malta’s Relief Organisation in Lithuania

Over 80,000 meals distributed in 2014 by the Order of Malta’s Relief Organisation in Lithuania

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Increase in services offered and people in need reached

The Order of Malta’s Relief Organisation in Lithuania (MOPT) ended 2014 on a high note. Volunteers’ efforts to help those in need increased significantly in terms of services offered and people reached. The organisation has been handing out hot meals since 1993 and now covers a total of 16 municipalities with the two new towns added last year. In 2014 volunteers distributed some 80,500 hot meals to 450 people. The number of people reached over the year has also grown along with the service, which now also provides food packs and food vouchers that can be spent in the shops.

Home visits by volunteers have also increased. Around 300 elderly people are involved, mostly fragile and sick or with financial problems, with an average of 100 visits a year for each assisted person.

Another fundamental activity of the Order of Malta in Lithuania is its support for disadvantaged children. In 2014 there were eight assistance centres in operation and two new facilities were inaugurated at the beginning of this year. A total of 225 young people were helped last year.

Also last year a new transport service for the disabled was launched, with 90 people participating in the project in the towns of Vilnius and Klaipeda.

Besides the first-aid courses organised in various schools nationwide, the Order of Malta’s Lithuanian volunteers prepared the annual “Malteser Soup” campaign to increase public awareness about those living on the breadline, the elderly and the sick. Plates of typical local soup were offered in squares in 30 Lithuanian towns. The campaign, in which the Vilnius government ministers and celebrities participated, ended the year with a fundraising concert broadcast on national television.

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Polish Knights of Malta, Inc

110 Chestnut Ridge Road 177
Montvale, NJ 07645

 

info@pkom.org

Public Charity organization under IRC section 501(c)3

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Polish Knights of Malta, Inc is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as a public charity organization described in section 501(c)(3). Donations to the Polish Knights of Malta, Inc are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

FRA’ MATTHEW FESTING PARTICIPATES IN THE 138TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ORDER OF MALTA’S MILITARY CORPS

FRA’ MATTHEW FESTING PARTICIPATES IN THE 138TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ORDER OF MALTA’S MILITARY CORPS

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The Military Corps-Auxiliary of the Italian Army of the Order of Malta’s Italian Association celebrated its 138th anniversary in Rome. On 31 January last, the swearing-in ceremony of the Military Corps’ new volunteer recruits took place in the parade ground of the Artale Barracks in the presence of Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing.

The Grand Master was received by Narciso Salvo di Pietraganzili, Magistral Deputy Commissioner of the Order of Malta’s Italian Association and by Colonel Mario Fine, Commander of the Military Corps. The army band rendered him military honours.

The ceremonies for the Military Corps’ 138th anniversary were inserted in the array of official events and commemorations of national governments and local administrations to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I. In the command’s multimedia hall, the Military Corps’ chief chaplain, Msgr. Luigi Michele De Palma, Secretary of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences, gave a lecture on “The Order of Malta’s Intervention in the Great War”, recalling what the Order of Malta did to rescue and treat the wounded on the various war fronts.

An engagement initiated thanks to Pope Benedict XV – the same pope who called the First World War a “useless massacre” – who in January 1915 entrusted the hospital of St Martha, next to St. Peter’s Basilica, to the Order of Malta. With its 350 beds, the hospital looked after over 3000 war wounded.

Monsignor De Palma went over the historic events of the Military Corps which, with its four hospital trains, transported 148,016 wounded from the war zones to hospitals in Italy, covering 483,848 km for a total of 641 journeys. The Order’s eight first-aid posts in the railway stations close to the front treated over 94,000 patients.

At the end of the lecture, the Grand Master pointed out that the Order was present on all fronts in the First World War, from the French to the Austro-Hungarian one, from the Belgian to the German one with equal commitment and without distinction of nationality. “Albeit separated by the fortunes of war, the Order of Malta’s national bodies separately performed the Order’s mission of assistance,” stated Fra’ Matthew Festing.

After the talk, the Grand Master visited the Military Corps’ History Museum, admiring the collection of memorabilia (including 8 flags, 12 historical uniforms and 75 items of headgear) and a great quantity of documents and photographs. The museum also houses an extensive section devoted to the Order of Malta’s medical service during World War I. To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War a programme of visits has been launched for students and teachers.

Contact

Polish Knights of Malta, Inc

110 Chestnut Ridge Road 177
Montvale, NJ 07645

 

info@pkom.org

Public Charity organization under IRC section 501(c)3

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Polish Knights of Malta, Inc is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as a public charity organization described in section 501(c)(3). Donations to the Polish Knights of Malta, Inc are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.