Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Fourteen Parishioners Invested into Equestrian Order of Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem

Fourteen men and women in the Diocese were invested earlier this month into the centuries-old Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, an institution that works to preserve, defend and spread the Catholic faith in the Holy Land.

The parishioners, known as knights and dames in the order, were invested October 14 during the celebration of Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral in New York City. Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Grand Master of the Order, presided over the ceremony.

The newly-invested members from the Diocese are Robert Balasavage of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Lancaster; Richard and Patricia Barger of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Hershey; John and Mary Ann Boyarski of St. Theresa Parish in New Cumberland; Karen Bruskewicz, Stephen Deitrich, Sr., and Lisa Pantano of St. Patrick Parish in York; Terry and Karen Hurley of the Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick in Harrisburg; Kenneth and Susan Peirson of Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Harrisburg; and Peter and Lisa Skehan of St. Andrew Parish in Waynesboro. The new knights and dames were accompanied by Father John Bateman, who previously served as Secretary to the Grand Master of the order in Rome and is currently the Diocesan liaison for the order.

Membership in the worldwide order is one of the highest papal awards given to those who have performed commendable work for the Church.  Members commit to the care and support of the people and the Catholic Church in the Holy Land through charity, prayer and pilgrimages.

The history of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem can be traced to the time of the first Crusade, when its leader, Godfrey de Bouillon, liberated Jerusalem. The first documented evidence of an investiture was in 1336. Today, the work of the order supports Christians in Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Cyrpus, Syria and Egypt. Projects and ministries include schools and orphanages, centers for people with disabilities and support for families who lack healthcare and employment.

Several of the 14 new members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem are pictured after their investiture in New York City.
Several of the 14 new members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem are pictured after their investiture in New York City.
Knights and Dames of the order process into St. Patrick Cathedral in New York City October 14 for the investiture of new members.
Knights and Dames of the order process into St. Patrick Cathedral in New York City October 14 for the investiture of new members.

More information about the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem can be found at www.oessh.va and www.holysepulchre.net and via this recent feature in The Witness.

By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness

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