New North American Lieutenants’ Orientation Meeting in Washington, DC

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New Lieutenants' Orientation

The Order of the Holy Sepulchre conducted its’ first-ever Lieutenants’ Orientation Meeting in Washington, DC, on Saturday, 24 February 2018.  The purpose of the Orientation Meeting was to provide four new North American Lieutenants with essential information on how to function and effectively carry out their duties and responsibilities.  Using feedback from four seasoned members of the Grand Magisterium, the Orientation provided many benefits and practical input.

The Vice-Governor General Patrick Powers, travelled from Los Angeles to conduct the meeting.  The two-day orientation meeting was held in the Rectory of Saint Ann Church in Northwest Washington, DC.   The new Lieutenants participating in the Orientation Meeting were:  José Frontera (Lieutenancy of Puerto Rico), Valencia Yvonne Camp (Middle Atlantic USA Lieutenancy), Mark Rodi (Southeastern USA Lieutenancy) and Gerald Foley (Northeastern USA Lieutenancy).   Joining Vice-Governor General Powers were three members of the Grand Magisterium; Professor Thomas McKiernan (Archdiocese of Cincinnati), John Carmen Piunno (Archdiocese of Washington), and Mary Currivan O’Brien (Archdiocese of San Francisco).  Monsignor James D. Watkins, Pastor of Saint Ann Church, graciously provided the meeting space and welcomed the attendees at the Saturday morning session.

The first day’s work was divided up into four parts and focused on the fundamentals of the Order; the Order’s History, Constitution, Statutes, General Regulations, the Government of the Order, and the role of the Lieutenant.  Following a working lunch, the second part of the day was dedicated to the Nomination Process, Admissions, Promotions, Accounting and Finance, and a Lieutenancy’s Annual Report.

After a full day of work, the group attended the Saturday evening Vigil Mass with parishioners at Saint Ann Church, where Monsignor James D. Watkins was the principal celebrant and homilist.  After Holy Mass and a brief repose in the rectory, the group headed to nearby Chevy Chase, Maryland, where discussions of the day’s topics continued over dinner.

On Sunday morning the group reconvened addressing the previous day’s business.  Following some brief remarks by Vice-Governor General Powers, Professor Thomas J. McKiernan, President of the Holy Land Commission, gave a comprehensive presentation on the work of the Commission.  Professor McKiernan explained to the new Lieutenants the importance of the Commission’s work and how and why it functions.  The Holy Land Commission is responsible for examining, assessing and recommending all proposals for the funding of projects by the Order, and for monitoring and reporting on the execution of the approved and funded projects.  Professor McKiernan gave a synopsis of the Commission’s 2017 site visit to the Holy Land with the Governor General Leonardo Visconti di Modrone that focused on education, humanitarian aid, and pastoral care.  He concluded his presentation by providing an update on the projects currently underway and some insight into the planned 2018 programs.

Closing discussions focused on the Legacy Program, recruitment efforts, organizing pilgrimages, member formation and personal spirituality, the upcoming North American Lieutenants’ Meeting in Toronto, and the November Consulta in Rome.

The Lieutenants’ Orientation Meeting concluded with an open forum discussion in which ideas, observations, and questions, were exchanged among the participants.  Everyone agreed that the advantages of a systematic orientation are of inestimable value for any in-coming Lieutenant.  The meeting closed with Vice-Governor General Powers thanking everyone present for making the first-ever Lieutenant’s Orientation Meeting a success.

John Carmen Piunno

(April 10, 2018)

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