In the year 1988, John Paul II published the apostolic exhortation Christifideles Laici, highlighting the role of the laity within the Catholic Church. “With this Exhortation the lay faithful are invited to take up again and reread, meditate on and assimilate with renewed understanding and love, the rich and fruitful teaching of the Council which speaks of their participation in the threefold mission of Christ”: the priestly, prophetic and kingly (CL 14).
The entire Church is called to work in the Father’s vineyard, and in this mission that has been entrusted “the lay faithful have an essential and irreplaceable role: through them the Church of Christ is made present in the various sectors of the world, as a sign and source of hope and of love” (CL7).
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, as a lay institution placed under the protection of the Holy See, feels this call in a special way. During her visit to Rome in 2013 for the gathering of the European Lieutenants, Helene Lund, Magistral Delegate of Norway, shared her thoughts on the topic with the Communication Service of the Grand Magisterium of the Order, saying: “The majority of the faithful in the Church are the laity, and we are called to witness to our Faith and to be part of the Church’s mission. For this reason, working with other laity, and being part of an order that is composed mostly of lay people, sustained with the help of priests, is a blessing, and it encourages people to understand their daily lives within the light of the work of the Church.”
As a wife and mother of two children, Helene considers her bond with the Holy Land as a “family matter”, which she and her spouse share with their children, whom they are planning to take to the Holy Land on pilgrimage in the Fall. On the importance of family life, Helene says: “I think that when you recruit new members, it is important to invite them to reflect on their family ties. Belonging to the Order must be something that unites, and it is important to have the support of your spouse so that it can become a blessing to the family.”
(June 3, 2015)