On September 3rd, the Western Association joined thousands of members and volunteers of the Order of Malta across the world, celebrating the memory of the founder of the Order of Malta, Blessed Fra’ Gerard, on the 900th anniversary of his death.

Fr. Reginald Martin, OP, Principal Chaplain of the Western Association, celebrated the Mass at St. Raymond Catholic Church Rose Garden in Menlo Park, California. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, only a small group of Knights and Dames were allowed to attend the outdoor event, but, because the Mass was streamed online, all remaining Knights, Dames, Provisional Members, Auxiliary Members, and Volunteers were able to participate virtually.

Mass intentions included asking our Founder for his intercession for the upcoming election of a new Head of the Order, for the ongoing reform efforts, and for the soul of Goncalo Villas Boas, who passed away last month.  He was the oldest son of Fra’ Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas, the Lieutenant ad interim, and current head of the Order.

Due to the current turbulent times, members of the Order are uniquely suited to help the needy and the vulnerable through works of spiritual and physical support.  While speaking about the anniversary of Fra’ Gerard’s passing, Fra’ Ruy stated, “The members and volunteers of the Order of Malta throughout the world are proud of their history and traditions which they translate daily into a commitment to alleviate human suffering.” Membership in the Order of Malta “is a privilege that we must continue to deserve through our daily commitment, in the wake of the tradition and example left us by our founder, Blessed Gerard.”