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Order of Malta Australia


Subpriory Retreat 2018: “LIVING THE BEATITUDES”


Report by David Kissane, Procurator

Subpriory Retreat Group 2018

The Subpriory of the Immaculate Conception gathered recently for its three-day annual retreat (Feb 22-24) at the Campion Centre of Ignatian Spirituality in Kew, Victoria. The third day included a Day of Reflection for Victorian Branch Members and was held at the nearby Carmelite Monastery.

Our Conventual Chaplain ad honorem, Bishop Terry Curtin, DD, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, was our spiritual director. He centred the retreat on Living the Beatitudes. It was an inspirational reflection for the 19 Subpriory members in attendance.

Three members – David Blackwell, Richard Caesar-Thwaytes and Justin Harkewicz – extended their retreat to five days as they were completing their Year of Preparation for their Promise of Obedience.

These retreats form one of the central activities of the Subpriory each year, when members come together in prayer and reflection. Lauds, Vespers and Compline are prayed together along with daily Mass.

In a year when our Order is undergoing a renewal process led by the Sovereign Council in Rome, and the theme of poverty is being deeply thought about, members were challenged to consider the centrality of poverty in their lives.

Luke’s Gospel simply refers to “Blessed are the poor”, whereas Matthew’s Gospel adds “in spirit” to talk of an additional notion of coming before God in spiritual poverty, a humble faith to receive the salvation He offers.

Members of the Order who are interested in deepening their spirituality are encouraged to consider joining the Subpriory and are welcome to contact Confrere David Kisssane about this.

The next retreat is being arranged by Confrere Paul Grew at the Canisius Centre of Ignatian Spirituality in Pymble, NSW from 2nd to 3rd August 2018, and will be followed by the NSW Day of Reflection on Saturday 4th August.

Our thanks to Bishop Terry Curtain, the Carmelite nuns, and all who contributed to this first retreat for 2018.

Members interested in attending our second retreat in August should contact Confrere Paul Grew by emailing

What is The Subpriory of the Immaculate Conception
The Subpriory of the Immaculate Conception is formed by members of the Australian Association who take the Promise of Obedience, and thus make a deeper commitment to perform the works of the Order and to deepen their spiritual life and witness to Christ.
Whereas a Professed Knight ultimately takes solemn vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, those Knights and Dames who take a promise of obedience are not held by the same depth of commitment inherent in a vow, yet they do make a sincere commitment to prayer, the Eucharist and personal engagement in the care of Our Lords, the sick and the poor — very much hands on work. Where someone has belonged to the Order for three or more years, it could be argued that if they listen to God’s call and are open to the Holy Spirit, then a natural desire may start to develop to deepen their spirituality.
There is a year of preparation involved before the Sovereign Council will give permission for any member to take their Promise of Obedience. During that year of Preparation, the member has a chaplain of the Order appointed as a personal spiritual director, and the individual is guided in ways to deepen his or her spirituality. The Subpriory supports this vocation by arranging annual retreats and other opportunities for each member to grow closer to Christ. Just as Christ was obedient unto the Father, so too are we all called to be obedient to the will of the Father. Belonging to the Order of Malta is one step, and belonging to the Subpriory is a further step along this pathway to deeper holiness.
At present, about ten percent of the Order have taken their Promise of Obedience; the Subpriory prays that this number will steadily grow as a symbol of the success of the Australian Association in enriching the spiritual life of its members.
Members who are interested in the Subpriory should speak with our Australian Association’s President, Confrere Ian Marshall, or the Procurator of our Australian Subpriory, Confrere David Kissane. All inquiries are most welcome.



The Australian Association

The Australian Association, formed in 1974, currently has in excess of 300 members and aspirant members across every State and Territory of Australia. We also have ongoing and strong links with the Order’s National Associations throughout the Asia Pacific Region including in Singapore and the Philippines and with members of the Order in New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand and Korea. The Order of Malta is committed to serving Our Lords the Poor and Sick worldwide and has done so for over 900 years. This website shares with you the history, mission and current activities of the Order of Malta in Australia, and provides links to the work of the Order world-wide.