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Hospitaller Region - Philadelphia, PA

Hospitaller Region - Philadelphia, PA

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Service to Our Community

Working in partnership with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Order of Malta is currently involved in a series of service and advisory projects for the benefit of those in need throughout the five-county area of Greater Philadelphia.  Our working relationship with the Archdiocese allows us to efficiently identify and direct our talent and energy where it can do the most good.  Our current service projects include:

  • Martha’s Choice Marketplace
    • Serving over 900 families a month, Martha’s Choice and its integrated Montgomery County Catholic Social Services Center not only addresses the challenges of emergency food distribution in a dignified supermarket like environment but also provides a wide array of other services.  Job search, nutritional education, parenting classes and cooperative programs are but a few of the many ways this Catholic Social Service initiative endeavors to empower its clients and in turn provide an opportunity for them to lead happier and healthier lives.  For more than six years, the Order of Malta has been instrumental in supporting and advancing the goals of both the Marketplace and the Social Services Center.  A grant from the Order of Malta made possible the purchase of much needed refrigeration equipment that was an important component of supporting the transition to a choice marketplace and also providing healthier options to the client base.  Members of our Order actively assist in a number of key volunteer functions including; client intake and administration, data management, system automation consulting and product restocking.  In addition, along with other community partners, members of our Order are active on the Marketplace’s Advisory Board, meeting regularly to share insights and assist in providing strategic direction.
  • Prison Ministry
    • In collaboration with the Prison Chaplaincy, the Archdiocese and other members of our faith-based community, the Order of Malta actively participates in the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Prison Ministry Committee.  The committee meets regularly to explore new ways to introduce and extend the Body of Christ and the Catholic faith to our incarcerated sisters and brothers. With the help of the Federal Association’s Prison Ministry Committee, our Region has been able to supply English and Spanish language Bibles and Catholic study guides to inmates as well as much needed liturgical supplies to our Prison Chaplains.  The Philadelphia Region participates in sending Thanksgiving and Christmas greeting cards and is now exploring how best to initiate and sustain Pen-Pal programs with inmates in the Philadelphia Jail and State Prison systems.
  • Higher Education and Graduate School Partnerships
    • The Greater Philadelphia Area is home to several Catholic colleges and universities as well as vibrant Newman Centers at other institutions.  We are currently exploring ways to collaborate with several schools and centers to expand the awareness of our Order, promote our Auxiliary and explore ways to advance our collective mission through the identification of new and existing service projects and spiritual activities to promote our fellowship.  An early effort in this respect has been developing a relationship with the Penn/Drexel Newman Center at The University of Pennsylvania.

Spiritual Activities

The Philadelphia Region participates in numerous spiritual activities, in the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware Valley, in partnership with both the Wilmington Region and the American Association.

For many years, Fr. Nicholas Rashford, S.J. has been the Region’s Magistral Chaplain and a number of our monthly Masses are celebrated at the Jesuit Residence on the campus of St Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.  In 2019 Fr. Eric Banecker of St Pius X in Broomall and Fr. Matthew Brody of SS. Peter and Paul in West Chester joined the Philadelphia Region as Associate Chaplains.  As we plan our 2020 spiritual activities, we are looking forward to Fr. Eric and Fr. Matt celebrating monthly Masses and participating in other spiritual and service-based activities.

Also planned for 2020 will be a series of spiritual meetings to further discuss and reflect on the monthly material that is developed by the Order’s Spirituality Committee.  While many of these meetings will be conducted in person in conjunction with our monthly Mass, we are also in the process of exploring virtual meeting space facilities to provide accessibility and flexibility for our membership and ensure the greatest level of participation.

In addition to our monthly Mass, other spiritual activities include:

  • The Solemnity of The Nativity of St. John The Baptist
    • Each June 24th we jointly worship with the American Association to celebrate the feast of St. John the Baptist at Our Lady of Lourdes in Overbrook which is located just outside of Philadelphia.
    • After Mass member of the Federal and American Associations meet socially for dinner and drinks to celebrate our fellowship.
  • Lenten and Advent Days of Reflection
    • Twice yearly during Lent and Advent, the Wilmington and Philadelphia Regions gather at the IHM Conference and Retreat Center in Bryn Mawr. These half day reflections are an important part of our extended regional activities.  These mini retreat days give our members an opportunity to prayerfully reflect and spiritually prepare for Easter and Christmas.
  • Holy Week Activities and Vocational Support
    • Members participate in various events of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and when appropriate, Knights and Dames vest and process as a group.
      • Chrism Mass – Each year, during Holy Week, members of our region join diocesan priests, the Archbishop of Philadelphia and other faithful members of our community at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul for the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass.   
      • Priestly Ordination – Each May, members of our region along with members of the American Association gather at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul to witness the ordination of new diocesan priests.
      • Transitional Diaconate Ordination – Also in May, our members gather at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary to celebrate the ordination of seminarians as they transition, in their final year of study, to Deacons.

Robert Macri 
Regional Hospitaller

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

About

With its beginnings as a division of the Delaware Valley Region, the Philadelphia Region of the Order of Malta - Federal Association officially became its own region in September of 2017.  The region includes the City of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties that together comprise the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. 

Robert Macri is the current Hospitaller, succeeding Clair Raubenstine who previously served two terms.  George Gunning serves as Philadelphia’s Treasurer. The region is served by Magistral Chaplain; Fr. Nicholas Rashford S.J. of St. Joseph’s University and Associate Chaplains; Fr. Eric Banecker and Fr. Matthew Brody who are both of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  

Beyond participating in regional activities, a number of the members of the Philadelphia Region serve in various capacities at the Federal Association level. Among them are: John Reilly – Board of Directors, John Hoy – Spirituality Committee, George Gunning and Carol Macri – Stewardship Committee (George is also the Chair this committee) and Robert Macri – Prison Ministry Committee.

Our members also serve the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in various capacities on a number of archdiocesan committees, boards and ministries for Catholic Social Services and the Office of Life and Family.

All members of the Order, families and friends are welcome to participate in current and future Philadelphia activities and can contact Robert Macri at phillymaltafed@gmail.com for more information.