From September 24-26, 2021, the Lieutenancy for France celebrated its Investitures in the southwest of the country, in Bayonne, in the Basque region near the Spanish border. The distance did not prevent about 200 Knights and Dames from coming to celebrate the 57 candidates, including two bishops: Msgr. Marc Aillet, bishop of Bayonne, and Msgr. Patrick Le Gal, auxiliary bishop of Lyon. In view of the health situation, the Investitures planned in 2020 that had been postponed could not be held, which explains the high number of new Knights and Dames this year. Moreover, despite its large size, the cathedral could not accommodate all the candidates, so some aspirants will have to be patient until next year’s Investitures in Paris.
The various ceremonies were particularly heartfelt around Msgr. Aubertin, Grand Prior of the Lieutenancy – who presided over the liturgies – and our Lieutenant, General Faugère. Msgr. Marcuzzo – representing the Patriarch – has honored us with his presence. He affectionately congratulated the new Knights and Dames, stressing that each of us is part of the Church of Jerusalem. During the chapter, Jean-Pierre de Glutz-Ruchti – Vice Governor General of the Order – reminded us of the growing need for help of Christians in the Holy Land and more generally in the Middle East: it is necessary for the Order to mobilize itself more and more.
After the Investitures, the charity dinner with 350 guests – including several foreign Lieutenants – allowed us to raise funds in favor of the institute ‘Effetà-Paolo VI’ in Bethlehem, which welcomes and educates young Palestinians with hearing disabilities. After long months in which many activities were cancelled, it is therefore with great fraternal joy that the members of the Lieutenancy could finally meet! They are now eagerly awaiting the reopening of the borders to go back to the Holy Land, to their brothers of the Mother Church in Jerusalem.
Lieutenancy for France