The Diocese of San Bernardino hosted the 2023 Western Lieutenancy annual meeting in Palm Desert California. With a theme of “God’s Love is All We Need”, Knights, Dames, and Clergy were excited for an informative, and spirit filled weekend. We awoke Saturday to the tragedy of the war in the Holy Land, hearing the news of sorrow from our brothers and sisters in Christ was with us throughout the Annual Meeting. Please continue to Pray for Peace.
For us, the weekend began with a Council meeting on Thursday afternoon. The Council thanked Sir Bill and Dame Karen for their eight years of dedicated service. Reverend Dennis Mikulanis installed us as the Tucson are Co-Councillors. Reverend Dennis began with “you have been engaged in the battle for the Kingdom of Christ and for the extension of the Church, having undertaken works of charity with a deep spirit of faith and love. You are now being asked to inspire, to assist, and to set an example for Knights and Ladies in your charge who seek to do the same. We answered “I Do” to the following questions:
Do you swear to defend the Catholic faith?
Do you swear to work for the sanctification of Knights and Ladies in your charge?
Do you swear your fidelity to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI?
Do you swear to work to fulfill the mission of the Order, to work for the betterment of Christians in the Holy Land, to keep safe the path of pilgrims, and to maintain the Holy Shrines?
Do you swear to uphold the Constitution of the Order?
We are looking forward to our upcoming term and serving as Co-Councillors for Tucson.
Some highlights from the Council meeting are as follows:
Her Excellency Dame Margie Ramano will serve another term
Exploring future annual meeting sites with emphasis on cost effective pricing
Holy Sepulchre and School restoration will be 2024 special projects
Strategic plans to be presented at 02/24 meeting
Seminarian pilgrimage program is scheduled for 12/23
Review of updated lieutenancy web site
Member financial contributions are up, but average contribution is down
Continue to promote the Legacy Society Program
Recruit for the new associate’s program for young Catholics ages 20-34
The area councillor reports provided many ideas to pursue
The annual meeting officially began Friday with a Travelers Mass celebrated by Most Rev Gerald R. Barnes – Bishop Emeritus of San Bernardino. The Gospel reading was Luke 10:13-16. “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” We were asked to listen without haste. In other words, be attentive and present during conversations. After mass, investees, promotees, and members attended their respective retreats.
Saturday began with a Votive Mass Honoring Our Lady Queen of Palestine, the Conferral of Promotions, and a Member Memorial.
Grand Prior Archbishop Jose Gomez conferred promotions for the following Tucson EOHSJ members:
Dame Sandra Kolasa
Commander With Star
Dame Elaine Ball Dame Maryann Hockstad Sir David Ball
Dame MaryCarmen Cruz Orr Sir Steven Legendre Sir David Orr III
Her Excellency Margie Romano led the Memorial and Universal Prayer. The following Tucson EOHSJ members were remembered:
Sir Richard Fuchs Sir David Pino
Mass was celebrated by His Excellency, The Most Reverend Alberto Rojas – Bishop of San Bernaardino. The Gospel reading was Luke 1:39-47. “At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” May we, like Elizabeth and Mary, trust that God is coming to save and free us.
The all-member meeting was conducted Saturday afternoon. Membership demographics were reviewed, finances were reviewed, and on-going special projects in the Holy Land were updated.
Archangel Awards were presented to the following Tucson EOHSJ members:
Reverend Monsignor Domenico Pinti
Sir Daniel Torrington and Dame Patricia Torrington
Silver Palm Awards were presented to the following Tucson EOHSJ members:
Sir William and Dame Karen McEwen
A “Midnight at the Oasis” themed dinner party Saturday night was well attended, and members danced the night away. A good time was had by all!
Sunday morning started with brunch and a presentation with Father Robert Spitzer on “The Shroud of Turin – Evidence of Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection.” Father Spitzer is President and Co-Founder of the Magis Institute. The Magis Institute explores the intersection of science, reason, and faith. The Shroud of Turrin may be the most tested religious artifact. After much research and resulting empirical data, Father Spitzer has concluded that the Shroud of Turin is the actual burial cloth of Jesus.
Sunday afternoon was the Order of Mass with the Rite of Solemn Investiture. Grand Prior Archbishop Gomez presided over the investiture of new members to the EOHSJ. The following Tucson members were invested:
Sir Al Garcia Sir Tareq Hishme Dame Rosalba Cardona
Dame Janis Garcia Dame Nora Hishme Dame Nancy Purciello
Receiving the Pilgrim Shell is one of the Orders highest honors. The following received their Pilgrim Shells:
Sir Al and Dame Janice Garcia Sir William and Dame Nancy Purciello
In his Homily Archbishop Gomez asked all to pray for peace in the Holy Land and pray for the church in The Holy Land. He reiterated that “God’s Love is All We Need.” He asked that Knights and Dames reflect on their own service and continue to grow the Kingdom of God. He ended his homily by reminding all in attendance that Prayer is the key and will provide strength and comfort.
The Grand Ball with dinner and dancing was held on Sunday evening. The opportunity to meet and connect with members was enjoyed by all. The night ended with an invitation to the 2024 annual meeting in Salt Lake City.
The annual meeting ended Monday morning with a travelers Mass. Father Stephen Porter was the Celebrant. His homily focused on the first Lady of Champions Feast Day being celebrated. He asked again that we should strive to be active listeners. With the war in the Holy Land, he also asked that we continue to pray for peace.
Sir David and Dame Elaine Ball
Tucson EOHSJ Area Co-Councillors