The Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller (Malta) is one of the oldest Orders of Chivalry in existence today. It is the third oldest religious order and its origin dates back to the times of the Crusades in the Middle Ages. The Order is famous and revered for its countless works of mercy and charity performed unceasingly by its members since the days of its founding in Jerusalem by the Blessed Gerard in 1048AD as a Benedictine nursing Order and, thereafter, as a Christian military order under its own charter charged with the care and defense of pilgrims to the Holy Land.
HE Prior Ann Van Ness DCJSJ announced the May 1st launch of The Americas Priory's new Web site to improve communications with all members of the OSJ. The site will also feature online resources for Commandery and Priory leaders and add important member database and contact capabilities.
Building on it previous Web presence created by Chevaliers JD Messinger KSJ, Terence Bate KSJ and Rene Henry KGSJ and Dame Janet Bate DSJ, Priory Chancellor Greg Schultz CJSJ overhauled the site and added improved functionality.
The Web will place OSJ and Priory histories, all OSJ current event information and calendars, as well as ongoing details and stories about Priory- and OSJ-supported Hospitaller work around the world at the fingertips of all members and friends of the OSJ.
Designed to create increased awareness about the OSJ and its Hospitaller work and to support the daily operations of its Commanderies, the Priory Web site will also provide each Commandery with online standard operating procedures, templates, forms and guidelines for its own local organization’s use. For more information, please contact the Priory Chancellor.
Despite worldwide financial meltdown, The Americas Priory saw an overall increase in membership and, most important, in the amount of Hospitaller funds raised to support the OSJ and the Priory mission: the care of the sick and poor.
Priory Charitable Giving by all of its units as direct financial support for OSJ Hospitaller work increased 17.50% from USD$401,729 in 2011 to USD$472,119 in 2012. [2011: €314,465 to €2012: 369,565]. In the U.S., charitable giving has always been important characteristic of its population and, within the worldwide membership of the OSJ, the feeling is mutual as reported at the 2013 meeting of the Sovereign Council in Malta.
Of special fund raising note was the 100th birthday benefit gala honoring the Priory's Patroness, Dame Henrietta, Countess de Hoernle GCSJ CMSJ MMSJ conducted by the OSJ Commandery of Florida. The single event raised more than USD$300,000 for six Boca Raton, Florida institutions that provide direct social services and humanitarian assistance to thousands of local area residents.