Ad Honores Ascendere

His Excellency Aloysius M. Ambrozic, Archbishop of Toronto and Conventual Chaplain “ad Honorem”, has been named Cardinal by Pope John Paul II on January 18, 1998.
Osanna et ad multos annos!


The following members of the Canadian Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta attended a reception held on Friday, February 20, 1998 at the Magistral Palace, 68 Via Condotti, Roma in Honour of His Eminence Cardinal Ambrozic.


  • His Excellency Fra. John MacPherson
  • His Excellency F. Vincent Regan
  • Dr. Richard Alway
  • Joseph Barnicke
  • Msgr. John Boissoneau
  • William Broadhurst
  • Jeffrey King
  • Msgr. Alan McCormack
  • Mrs. Barbara Regan
  • Ms. Rosemary Regan
  • Dr. Suzanne Scorsone

Present at the Reception were:
His Most Eminent Highness The Prince and Grand Master Fra. Andrew Bertie
His Excellency the Grand Chancellor, Count Don Carlo Marullo di Condojanni
His Excellency The Vice-Chancellor, Fra Jose Antonio Linati Bosch
His Excellency Fra. John Edward Critien
Our President presented His Eminence with two of our Order’s Missals, one in Latin and the other in English. His Eminence is a Latin scholar and enjoys reading Latin.
Light refreshments were served and His Excellency Fra. John Critien conducted a tour of the Palace and brought attention to many of the treasures which are housed there.



Land Mines Conference in Ottawa

On Wednesday, December 3rd, 1997, representatives from the Canadian Association of the Order met with Count Elie de Comminges, the Order’s representative at the Land Mine’s Conference who came from New York to attend the gathering in Ottawa.
Present were Dr. Osman P. Gialloreto, Lt.-Col Jacques W. Ostiguy, Wedigo Graf von Schweinitz.



In Memoriam

Barbara Leonardine Mitchell Gwyn
1910 - 1998
The funeral Mass for Barbara Gwyn, widow of Quintin Jermy Gwyn, was celebrated by her son the Rev. Robin Gwyn at the Convent of the Sisters of Charity in Ottawa on February 27. A large crowd joined the immediate family to mark the final farewell to a lady whose Christian faith marked the whole of her life and was transmitted to her children, numerous grand children and great grand children. Born in England, she and her husband lived in Canada for twenty years. When Quentin Gwyn was elected Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta they lived in Rome, they retired to Ottawa in 1979. Barbara Gwyn was awarded the Grand Cross of Merit by the Order and until the end was a splendid example of simple and prayer filled faith.




From our Chancellor Louis P. Couture:

The Order of Malta is programming quite a few celebrations in 1999, on the occasion of its nine centuries of life. As Chancellor of our National Association, I would appreciate the suggestions of all members for local festivities that would provide a good visibility for the Order of Malta that is unfortunately unknown to many Canadians, even members of the clergy.

To: “Epistula” From: Dr. Matthew Dale

I have been wondering whether other members of the Order of Malta have -like myself- been raising questions about the role we play or that we should be playing with regards to religious matters.
At the Annual Meeting or other special meetings should we have on the agenda one item permitting us to discuss our traditional responsibilities as members and to speak out on matters that affect adversely the faith? Why are we not heard when the head of an ecumenically friendly church denies the divinity of Christ.
We also could have been heard when the CBC provided time for a long program on abortion to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in favour of the Canadian Abortion Society. Also the Canadian Government members are wrestling with the declaration in favour of euthanasia and alternate sex. They are also attempting to alter the constitution in a manner that could wipe out our Catholic schools. In this respect should we be interested in the type of education and training received by teachers who will be active in Catholic schools?
These are but a few of the questions which I feel should be discussed by the Order. I would greatly appreciate if you invite your readers to make known their opinion and concern by writing to “Epistula”




From the Secretary for Communications in Rome.

January 12, 1998

Next year the Order of Malta will celebrate its Nine Centuries of Life all over the world and especially in Malta, Rome and the Holy Land. The Prince and Grand Master, Fra Andrew Bertie, officially announced this in St. Mary’s Church in the Magistral Villa on the Aventine Hill during the traditional New Year’s audience to the diplomats of the 78 countries accredited to the Sovereign Order. He was echoed by the Head of the Order’s Government, and the Grand Chancellor Amb. Count Carlo Marullo di Condojanni, who immediately afterward met Italian and foreign media representatives in the Foreign Press Association’s premises in Italy. Also present were Grand Magistry representatives - the members of the Sovereign Council and the Foreign Secretary - and the Order’s ambassadors to the Holy See and to the Italian Republic.
The Order’s nine centuries began, at the end of the 11th century even before the conquest of Jerusalem, in that hospice and hospital for pilgrims entrusted to Blessed Gerard, founder of the Hierosolymite Militia placed under the protection of St. John the Baptist. The celebrations will open in December this year with a world meeting in Malta of Knights and Dames of every nation to present the new rules which, guided by the Order’s essential principles, will help them to become increasingly active in the great expectations for the Third Christian Millennium. Thanks to these new rules which reform many elements of its Constitution, the Order will be able to achieve an even closer international co-operation with the Holy See, both on a spiritual level, in the fight against religious sects, and on the supranational level thanks to a broader and more autonomous recognition of the sphere of action of its Diplomacy.
To better implement its humanitarian activity, it will also be able to restructure the membership regulations for Knights and Dames enabling the laity and women, hitherto totally excluded, to be elected to its governing bodies. From now on, the Order’s Govermnent, under the leadership of the Prince and Grand Master, will be entrusted to three bearing structures: a “Line Structure” for command and control, a “Staff Structure” for programming and analyses and a “Resource Structure” for personnel, means and finances.
Finally, in this new global strategic balance, the Order’s diplomacy will seek to reach new horizons and to face the emerging needs no longer through simple representation, but through a “preventive” diplomacy, a diplomacy of “mediation”, implementing health and hospital programs and planning international aid. Consequently it will recruit people for its Diplomatic Corps mainly on the basis of their technical and professional capacities
Having illustrated these new rules. the Grand Chancellor announced that the various initiatives planned for the Order’s Ninth Centenary will include a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with two main stopping places in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. In the latter, there is the possibility of implementing a special humanitarian and medical operation under one of the Order’s three projects chosen by the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” for the “100 Projects of the Holy Father for the Jubilee of 2000” (the other two will be implemented in India and Haiti).
The Grand Chancellor, who is also Head of the Order’s Permanent Mission to the UN, then recalled that in this guise, in line with the Grand Master’s directives and as already presented to the Diplomatic Corps, he has contributed to the recent initiatives for abolishing land mines and for combating crimes against humanity and the environment, enhancing the Order’s presence in crisis zones and coordinating its commitment with all those national and international institutions concerned with assisting victims of civil and tribal wars and the many natural disasters afflicting our planet.
While talking to the representatives of public opinion of so many important countries, he also wanted to bring to their attention the multiplication of bogus orders which, under insignia not unlike that of the Order, are pursuing mainly profit-making aims even alongside welfare operations. Besides damaging the good faith of those who become involved in them, they risk creating ambiguity and confusion. He urged everyone to shed light on this phenomenon by denouncing these abuses whenever they come across them.
Concluding, the Grand Chancellor hoped that the Order may reach a new agreement with the Government of the Republic of Malta for the attribution of a territory around the Sant’Angelo Fort, presently granted in exclusive use. A territory, he specified, that would not have any effect on the Order’s sovereignty, already widely recognized and confirmed by international law.





As we begin the second of the three years dedicated to the preparation of the Millenium, we focus our attention more particularly on the Holy Spirit. As with other sections, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in Article 8 of Section 2, devotes rich passages to our belief in the Holy Spirit. The Catechism speaks of the various symbols used throughout the Scriptures and Christian tradition to remind us of the Holy Spirit: tongues of fire, a dove, a hand, a cloud, water, and anointing, to mention but some of them.
In Art. 688, the Catechism reminds us that we come to know the Holy Spirit in the Church through a number of means: the Scriptures, the Tradition of the Church, the Church’s teaching, sacramental liturgy, in prayer, in charisma and ministries which build up the Church community, in the signs of apostolic and missionary life, and, finally, in the witness of saintly persons through whom God continues the work of salvation.
It is this last category which affects all of us as members of the Order of Malta, for we are all called to be saints our works become for others a sign of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our midst. Therefore, they are not simply everyday activities, they are something much richer, if we but give them a chance to show forth through them the love of God that has been given to us.
As we carry out our works in and with the Church, we can recall that the Church is the temple of God in the Spirit. Vatican II taught us that the Church, the Body of Christ, is the temple of the Spirit. In former times, the Temple represented God’s presence in our world. For a long period of time, Israel did not have a Temple; God was present among the People in the desert. In the New Testament, we are told that the Church is not a building made of stones, but a spiritual edifice, with living stones, and with Christ as the cornerstone (see I Peter 2, 4-6).
Christ’s presence among us takes effect through the Holy Spirit (see Catechism, No. 743). Through the Spirit we become the People of the New Covenant and the living Body of Christ. Paul reminded the Corinthians: “Do you not realise that you are a temple of God with the Spirit of God living in you” (I Cor. 3, 16)? If the Church is the temple of the Holy Spirit, then we can easily say that our life comes from the Spirit (see Catechism, No. 747). The Church lives, as it were, off the Spirit and is constantly thus renewed. The Spirit gives new fruitfulness to the Church and keeps it in truth.
St. Irenaeus, centuries ago, told us that where the Church is, there too is the Holy Spirit; and where the Spirit of God is, there too is the Church and all grace (see Adversus Haereses, III, 24, 1).
The Holy Spirit acts through a diversity of grace or of gifts. We could each take a few moments to take stock of the gifts we have received in this life, both as persons and as members of society, Then, we can see how we are putting these gifts to the service of the larger community. As members of the Order of Malta we share in the special charism of this Order, one that turns us to “our Lords the Sick”, and enables us with deep and generous devotion to strive to promote God’s glory and world peace (see Prayer of the Order). Each time we do this, we are making manifest the Spirit of God within us, both as individuals and as Church.

Francis G. MORRISEY, O.M.I.,
Saint Paul University, OTTAWA, Canada K1S 1C4


Communiqué Important

Expo 98 in Portugal

Expo 98 will take place in Portugal from May 22 to September 30, 1998. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta being a Sovereign Body of Public International Law, will have a pavilion to reaffirm the sovereign nature of the Order and to inform the public about its historical evolution over the centuries and its work in the world today.
H.M.E.H. the Prince and the Grand Master will visit Expo 98 and June 6 has been dedicated as the National Day of the Order of Malta.
The Portuguese Association has organised two groups to travel to Lisbon: one from the 4th to the 11th of June and the other from the 14th to the 21st of August.
All members of our Association who are interested to assure a Canadian presence at this important event, will obtain the pertinent information by getting in touch with our office in Ottawa.





Proceedings of Third Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
Vatican City, 14-16 February, 1997.

Edited by Juan de Dios Vial Correa and Elio Sgreccia
Libreria Éditrice Vaticana. Price It. Lires 52.000

The problem of Identity and Status of the Human Embryo is intimately related to the beginning of a person’s life and is a topic which has been debated in many meetings the last few years. Unfortunately, philosophical perspectives have frequently been insufficient and inadequate conclusions have been taken from biological sciences. Hence this is a field that requires deep reflexion and precision in the use of the concepts in order to help bioethicists, lawyers, doctors and biologists. The study needs a clear concept of the human person. Today we frequently find the tendency to subordinate the condition of the human person to the presence of specific biological features, such as the functions of the central nervous system. This way of reasoning has led to numerous contradictions, so it is necessary to present a notion of the person which is not bound to the contemporary presence of those attributes which the mature human manifests. We trust that this volume will contribute to clarifying these questions and to resolve dilemmas such as embryo manipulation and others which require scrupulous attention.
“The Church has always taught and continues to teach that the result of human procreation, from the first moment of its existence, must be guaranteed the unconditional respect which is morally due to the human being in his or her totality and unity as body and spirit” (Evangelium vitae, 60 ).




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