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Order of Malta Australia

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News

Two Catholic lay orders coming together in the Holy Land in the name of peace

17/05/2024 


Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and Sovereign Order of Malta deliver humanitarian aid in Gaza

His Beatitude, Pierbattista Cardinal Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem today entered Gaza and reached the parish of the Holy Family for a pastoral visit. Together with His Beatitude was Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis, Grand Hospitaller of the Sovereign Order of Malta. Accompanying the small delegation was also Fr. Gabriele Romanelli, parish priest of Gaza. They met the suffering population to encourage them and to deliver a message of hope, solidarity, and support. His Beatitude presided the mass in the parish church with the local community and visited the St. Porphyrius Orthodox church and met with Bishop Alexios and the community.

The visit is also the first stage of a joint humanitarian mission of the Latin Patriarchate and the Sovereign Order of Malta, aiming at the delivery of life-saving food and medical help to the population in Gaza.

A Memorandum of Understanding establishing the joint mission was signed between the Parties on May 14th and will be carried out by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Sovereign Order of Malta and its worldwide relief agency, Malteser International and other partners.

The Order of Malta is already active in the region, running a Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem since 1985. It is a state-of-the-art maternity and neonatal critical care centre serving poor and at-risk women, infants, and children. It serves without regard to religion, ethnicity, or ability to pay. Since the war in Gaza, the shutdown of Bethlehem continues to mean very few have salaries and as a result fewer families can contribute to their care as a medical bill competes with a bag of groceries. Our contracts with the UN and the government of Palestine, that normally cover a fraction of the cost of some deliveries and NICU care for refugees, have also dried up. The Australian Association of the Order of Malta, with the support of our donors, has contributed over $40,000 to help meet this funding gap.

 

The Order of Malta’s long-time presence in the Holy Land 

The Order of Malta has a rooted presence in the Holy Land. Founded in Jerusalem in the 11th century with a mission of care for pilgrims of any faith and origin, religion ethnicity, gender of political belief.  The motto “Tuitio Fidei, Obsequium Pauperum” or “Witness of the faith and assistance to the poor” has guided its work for over 9 centuries. Today, the Order is present in 120 countries worldwide and remains apolitical, neutral, and impartial.

The Order of Malta continues to serve the Holy Land and operates a maternity hospital in Bethlehem where over 4,500 babies are born each year. It is the only hospital in the region equipped with an intensive neonatology ward capable of treating premature babies or those born with serious genetic disorders. The hospital has seen over 100,000 babies born since 1990, some born at less than 32 weeks’ gestation. The Holy Family Hospital serves a catchment area of one million people and is an important reference hospital for women and children’s health in the region. The staff consists of Christian and Muslim doctors and nurses.

The Order of Malta’s presence in the Holy Land is further demonstrated by the extensive assistance projects carried out in Lebanon. Over 10 medical clinics are in operation, providing relief to the neediest in different areas of the country. Many of the projects are run in close collaboration with the Sunni, Shia, and Druze communities. The Order of Malta has also special expertise in in providing aid and relief to refugees and internally displaced people in war-torn areas, including Ukraine, where it is actively present in over 70 cities proving humanitarian aid and psycho-social support.

The Order’s Emergency Relief fund is to assist in times of crisis, including refugee support and emergency relief to those impacted by disaster or conflict.

By donating to our Emergency Relief Fund you will enable us to respond rapidly to emerging needs.

All donations of $2 and over are tax deductible pursuant to section 30-15 fo the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.
Other ways to donate:
  • CHEQUES – payable to ‘Order of Malta’ and sent to Order of Malta, PO Box 79, Caringbah, NSW 1495
  • DIRECT DEPOSIT – Acc Name: Order of Malta, BSB 083 453, Acc: 44888 1897 (please email your receipt details to info@orderofmalta.org.au)
His Beatitude, Pierbattista Cardinal Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (left), and His Beatitude was Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis, Grand Hospitaller of the Sovereign Order of Malta (right), signed a Memorandum of Understanding on May 14th establishing the joint humanitarian mission. Photo: Order of Malta/Malteser International

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.