The tradition of seeing Christ in the needy and serving them with love continues today around the world.
In the Western United States 850 members, provisional members, chaplains, and Auxiliary members contribute annually more than 50,000 hours of face-to-face service with the poor and the sick. As they are Christ to us, so we try to be Christ to them.
Since the 11th century, the Order has provided free medical and relief services to those in need.
The Western Association provides medical assistance to those in need through a free medical clinic and a free legal clinic in Oakland for the indigent, in partnership with the Diocese of Oakland.
Several of the parishes in the Western Association operate a Parish Nurse Program where members visit the elderly and homebound.
The nurses tend to the physical needs of the infirm, and our members bring them Holy Communion and pray with them. This is another example of the Order serving the “whole person” in the poor and sick today, as with the original hospital of the Order in 11th century Jerusalem.
The members of the Order also serve the imprisoned and the members of their families. The Knights and Dames of the Western Association visit the incarcerated and bring them Bibles and prayer books, organize extended family visits on holidays, and attend Holy Mass.
The members of the Western Association remind the inmates that they are loved and not forgotten. The Order also supports a program for young persons who have recently been discharged from jail, to help them reintegrate into society and to live productive lives.
The program enriches the religious education of underserved children in poor parishes through direct participation of our members and the donation of Bibles, rosaries, and other religious articles. Our members have reached out to thousands of children at Catholic schools in the West.
Our newest Signature Work is the Order of Malta Mobile Services, which reaches out to the homeless on the streets and the destitute in parishes.
Members match the needs of the most distressed with volunteer and donor resources in the community and manage this “exchange” of goods and services. This is similar to the approach of the Order’s founder, Blessed Fra’ Gerard’.
Personal hygiene has been a necessary part of human dignity throughout our existence. This is an often-forgotten plight of the homeless population. For this reason, the Western Association created the hygiene kit program.
Through the generosity of vendors and benefactors, the Order is able to provide $20 worth of hygiene kit items at an average cost of $5 per kit. Members assemble kits specific to the hygienic needs of women and men. This growing program continues to meet the needs of the marginalized in our society.
In 1997, Saint John Paul II entrusted Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem to the Order of Malta. The hospital provides neonatal, well-woman, and maternity care to the most marginalized in the Holy Land at reduced or no cost. Holy Family Hospital is dedicated to preserving life and creating hope for young families without regard to religion or national origin. Every year the hospital delivers over 4,000 babies.
Malteser International Americas is the humanitarian relief agency of the Order of Malta in North and South America. It provides emergency relief to displaced persons who have been affected by armed conflict or natural disaster.
The Western Association also provides financial aid and professional support to over 50 third-party organizations serving the poor and the sick in the Western United States. The Western Association’s projects include: