By GIGI MEYERS, Special To The Bulletin | Published January 5, 2012
“Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to you?” This famous verse in the Gospel of Matthew illustrates the responsibility that members of the Order of Malta accept as their duty when making a commitment to join this 900-year-old lay religious order.
The Atlanta-based group of the Order of Malta, Federal Association, began in 1995 and now has over 50 members. Archbishop Wilton Gregory serves as the conventual chaplain and Msgr. Edward Dillon, pastor of Holy Spirit Church, Atlanta, as the magistral chaplain.
As a special project, the order will sponsor a Mass for the Anointing of the Sick at Holy Spirit Church in Atlanta on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Saturday, Feb. 11, at 11 a.m. Msgr. Dillon will serve as principal celebrant and will be joined by other members of the clergy. Members of the order will be available at the Mass to assist anyone in need, and handicap access will be provided. Everyone is invited to attend this Mass, which the order sponsored for the first time in 2011. Members of the order look forward to serving those in the archdiocese who are most in need of their prayers and assistance.
In Atlanta, the order has focused much of its volunteer effort on working on a variety of projects in support of the Solidarity School, a private Catholic preschool operated as a part of a larger outreach to the Latino community.