The fall meeting of the Order’s Grand Magisterium, chaired by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Grand Master, was held virtually. Governor General Leonardo Visconti di Modrone directed this important meeting dedicated to the major current issues affecting the life of the Order in the service of the Holy Land, with the participation of the four Vice- Governors, including those of North America and Asia-Pacific, connected live through digital media.
The fall meeting of the Grand Magisterium was held on October 20 in the form of a video conference, but with the participation in Palazzo della Rovere of some of the main authorities of the Order. In fact, the Grand Master, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, who chaired the meeting, and the Governor General, Ambassador Leonardo Visconti di Modrone, who led the sessions, were joined by: the Assessor of the Order, Most Rev. Tommaso Caputo, Archbishop of Pompei; the Lieutenant General Prof. Agostino Borromeo, the Vice Governors Jean Pierre de Glutz Ruchti and Enric Mas; the Chancellor Ambassador Alfredo Bastianelli; the Treasurer Dr. Saverio Petrillo; the President of the Juridical Commission Flavio Rondinini; and four members of the Grand Magisterium, Duke Leopoldo Torlonia, Mr. Luigi Giulianelli, Professor Helene Lund, and Mrs. Mary O’Brien.
In the morning the Cardinal Grand Master celebrated the Eucharist for the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary Queen of Palestine in the church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, with the participation of many members of the Order. In the early afternoon His Eminence opened the session of the Grand Magisterium by recalling his recent visits to the United States and the Principality of Monaco and the numerous meetings he had in Rome with members of the Grand Magisterium, Grand Priors, and Lieutenants who had come to meet him. These meetings gave the Grand Master the opportunity to emphasize that “the Church walks, it is not static and the Order walks with the Church”. In light of this the path undertaken a few years ago reflects the invitation already addressed by Pope St. John Paul II to the Consulta of 2000 to “renew without losing the spirit of the Order.” His Eminence then illustrated the main innovations introduced by the Constitution and the new Ritual, the result of a careful collective work, highlighting their meaning, which should also be read in the light of the booklet on the Spirituality of the Order that he wrote and distributed in all the vehicular languages.
The Governor General, Ambassador Leonardo Visconti di Modrone, then made his report, welcoming the three new members, Prince Hugo Windisch Graetz, Professor Helene Lund, and Mr. Luigi Giulianelli, and retracing the steps taken by the Grand Magisterium in the last semester, after the Spring meeting. Taking his cue from some of the Grand Master’s themes, the Governor highlighted above all the strengthening of dialogue in this era of pandemic, and the efforts made in communication, to make known to the general public what the Order does for the Holy Land. On administrative matters, the Governor General reiterated the commitment to maximum transparency and the use of the most modern technologies to ensure the best efficiency.
The speech of the Latin Patriarch, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, (unable to be present in person) was read by the Governor General. His Beatitude recalled the most significant events that have characterized the last year at the Latin Patriarchate and renewed the commitment of the Mother Church of Jerusalem, thanking the Order of the Holy Sepulchre for its closeness and generosity, also in view of the visit that the Cardinal Grand Master will make to the Holy Land in January for the solemn entrance in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre.
The Treasurer Dr. Saverio Petrillo then illustrated the Order’s economic and financial management and presented for approval the budget for 2022, which foresees revenues of about 14 million Euros, of which more than 13 million Euros for works in the Holy Land and the remaining for the Order’s institutional operating expenses. The latter expenses will soon be covered by the rent of the portion of Palazzo della Rovere designated as a hotel, enabling the Order to send to the Holy Land the entirety of the contributions received from the Lieutenancies.
This was followed by speeches from the Chief Executive Officer of the Latin Patriarchate, Sami El-Yousef, and from the President of the Commission for the Holy Land, Prof. Bart McGettrick who highlighted the difficulties encountered in the wake of the pandemic, but at the same time highlighted the generosity of the Order’s members, who have contributed over 3 million Euros to the special Covid Fund.
The debate that followed touched on various topics, from the new Ritual to the expansion of the Order into new countries, from the opening to young people, to the resumption of pilgrimages, to the work in progress in the Palazzo della Rovere. The various reports and conclusions were sent in written form to all the Lieutenancies for their complete and exhaustive information.