While the Consulta 2018 - the great assembly of the Order held every five years - is being prepared, we recall that five years ago, from September 10 to 12, 2013, the leaders of 62 Lieutenancies and Magistral Delegations from 35 countries (from Argentina to Canada, from the United States to Taiwan or Guam, from Norway to South Africa) met in Rome.
That year not only could delegates participate in the Consulta but also experience the exceptional international pilgrimage that gathered 3500 Knights and Dames on the occasion of the Year of Faith.
"We are concerned about the renewal of our Statute, which dates back fifty years", Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, Grand Master of the Order, had said at the opening of the 2013 meetings.
He insisted that the Order be spiritually demanding in the recruitment and ongoing formation of its members, and that it should be open especially to the younger generations, as well as to families, with the aim of generating new energies at the service of the Holy Land, and also of encourage them to make greater efforts in the life of local Churches.
The Order, which fifty years ago had just eleven Lieutenancies, has geographically and numerically expanded, now bringing together 30,000 members and ensuring a growing material support to Christians in the Middle East.
(September 11, 2018)