WASHINGTON, D.C. – Four Catholic men and women nominated by the Archbishop for the Military Services, USA (AMS) were recently invested in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, the successor of an ancient military force established some 900 years ago to protect a very jewel of Christendom—the Tomb of Christ.
Crusader Godfrey de Bouillon established the order immediately after the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099. Approved by Pope Pascal II in 1113, the Order remains active today mainly as a charitable organization working through the Catholic Near East Welfare Association to support clinics, schools, orphanages, and other facilities to serve the needy in the Holy Land.
During a Solemn Mass in the crypt of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Oct. 26, the following AMS nominees were inducted into the Order:
- Mr. Christopher Steeg Ljungquist;
- Ms. Lisa Ann Miklos;
- Mr. Edwin Michael Wilson;
- Ms. Shanaz Dolly Hussain Wilson.
The Mass was celebrated by his Excellency, the Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore and Grand Prior for the Mid-Atlantic Lieutenancy, who conferred the honors. Concelebrants from the AMS included the Most Reverend F. Richard Spencer, Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern United States; the Reverend Monsignor John J.M. Foster, J.C.D., Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia; and Father Christopher Armstrong, J.C.D., Judicial Vicar. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, returned from a convocation of Catholic U.S. Military chaplains in Rome in time to attend a Saturday night banquet following the investiture.
The mission of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem is to revive, in modern form, the ideals of the Crusades, with the ever-effective weapons of the Faith, the apostolate and Christian charity. More specifically, the Order’s purpose fosters the support and propagation of the Faith in the Holy Land, assistance to the missions of the Latin and Eastern Rites, provision for its charitable, cultural and social undertakings, and defense of the rights of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
Each Knight and Dame of the Order receives a document signed by the Grand Master and witnessed by an official of the Secretariat of State of His Holiness. According to the document, in order to qualify for induction, candidates must demonstrate by their lives that they are “Christian faithful who have contributed to the preservation of the faith in Palestine and to the growth of the Patriarchal missions, or have been conspicuous for religious piety and nobility of Christian life, or who by their largess and contributions have in any way provided for Holy Church and the Apostolic See.”
Ed and Dolly Wilson, for example, a married couple, were chosen for induction in recognition for their 34 years of organizing and guiding ground transportation in Europe for pilgrims to the annual Pèlerinage Militaire International, or International Military Pilgrimage, in Lourdes, France. Ms. Miklos was selected for her more than 25 years of active involvement in military chapel communities as well as the Military Council of Catholic Women (MCCW), an organization of which she served as the first Worldwide president from 2006 to 2010. Mr. Ljungquis was chosen in appreciation for his work as a foreign policy advisor on Latin America and global trade to the International Justice and Peace Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), of which Archbishop Broglio serves as chairman.
Archbishop Broglio commented: “I am very grateful that these individuals accepted my nomination to our Order. They will contribute to its important work of keeping alive the Christian presence in the Land where Our Lord walked and achieved our Redemption. It is significant that the Grand Chancellor of the Order is my esteemed predecessor as the Archbishop of the AMS. Cardinal O’Brien in his person assures a special link between this archdiocese and the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.”
To find out more about the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, visit: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/institutions_connected/oessh/en/subindex_en.html.