The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
Northeastern Lieutenancy: Investiture Weekend, November, 2021
Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, Massachusetts
FROM CARDINAL SEÁN PATRICK O’MALLEY, OFM CAP, ARCHBISHOP OF BOSTON:
Saturday afternoon [November 6, 2021], we had the Mass of Investiture for about 60 new members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Among them was Bishop William Byrne of Springfield along with six priests and two deacons from dioceses throughout New England.
Henry and Marianne Luthin were honored with the Order of Sepulchre Silver Palm of Jerusalem Award, for meritorious service on behalf of the Order.
Last year we did not have an investiture ceremony because of the pandemic. It was very well attended, and the cathedral was filled with members of the order. I was very edified by the participants and was especially pleased to see a number of young people among the new Knights and Dames.
The ceremony was a little different this year. Instead of using a sword during the ceremony, I dubbed the new members with the crosier. I have to say, I miss the sword because it’s a lot easier to wield than the crosier! But I think it was to modernize the ceremony and make it the same for both the men and the women. Previously, the sword was only used for the investiture of the Knights, not the Dames. Now, the ceremony is the same for all.
In my remarks at the dinner following the investiture, I encouraged them to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which is often a part of the spirituality of a member of the order. I also thanked them for all their support of the holy places at a time when the Christian community of the Holy Land is rapidly declining. As people are being forced out of the Middle East, and Christians are leaving to go to other parts of the world, the work of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre is all the more important for the Church in that part of the world.
I also spoke about St. Francis’ special love for the Holy Land. It was the first province of friars that he established, and they are still there to this day, caring for the holy sites. St. Francis went to meet with the Sultan because he was trying to bring the Gospel and peace to that part of the world. We wonder what the world would be like if St. Francis’ approach had been taken by all Christians.
We are very grateful to our Lieutenant Gerard Foley for all of his work in organizing the investiture weekend.