Order of Malta welcomes newest chaplain and knight
Emil Bulum with Fr Joshua Scott at Corpus Christi
Article originally published in Catholic Voice and reproduced with permission.
In a centuries old tradition, Fr Joshua Scott and Emil Bulum were invested into the Sovereign Order of Malta during a special Mass at the Corpus Christi parish, Gowrie in Canberra’s south on 4 April 2022.
Fr Scott, the parish’s assistant priest, was invested as a Magistral Chaplain to the Order. Mr Bulum, a parishioner at St Joseph’s O’Connor, was made a knight.
The investiture was conducted by the Order of Malta’s Australian Association president, the Hon James Douglas.
The Mass was celebrated by Monsignor Giuseppe Quirighetti of the Apostolic Nunciature with Fr Scott as concelebrant.
Reflecting on his personal journey to the Order of Malta, Fr Scott said the Order’s motto of caring for the sick and defending the faith was the inspiration behind his involvement.
“[They’re]…two things that I really am passionate about in my ministry and in my life, to care for the vulnerable and to also defend the faith that defends me,” he said.
He had first heard about the Order of Malta when he was a seminarian in Sydney and had met some of its members. He was intrigued by the Order’s long history extending over 900 years with several saints being members.
Ordained in 2017, he described himself as once a “militant atheist” who had experienced an existential crisis in his mid-teens before coming to realise the more he believed God didn’t exist, the more God showed him he did.
“So I go from militant atheist to a chaplain in the Order of Malta. It’s a journey.”
Fr Scott said he looked forward to nurturing the spiritual lives of the knights and dames of the Order in Canberra and beyond.
For Mr Bulum, a semi-retired Canberra builder and life-long Catholic, it was the desire to give back to the community that was the driving force behind his commitment to the Order.
“There’s been a lot going on in the world in the last few years and my faith is sharpening a lot more,” he said.
“This [the Order of Malta] is an avenue I wanted to explore to deepen my faith and do a bit more for the community.”
Founded in Jerusalem in the 12th century, the Sovereign Order of Malta is a worldwide lay order of the Catholic Church. Active in 120 countries, it has a long history of providing care to the vulnerable and the sick through its medical, social and humanitarian works.