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BOSTON -- Eleven local Catholics were among the 46 men and women invested as Knights or Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem during the order’s annual investiture weekend that took place this year in Boston from Oct. 20-22.
The new members come from various dioceses throughout New England and include one bishop and several priests and laypersons.
Cardinal Se n P. O’Malley, a member of the order and the lieutenancy’s grand prior, celebrated Mass Oct. 21 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross during which new members were formally installed.
Those invested into the Holy Sepulcher Order from the Boston Archdiocese were: Father Patrick S. Armano of Needham; Father Peter J. Uglietto of Weston; Stephen W. and Kari J. Collela of Norwood; Thomas E. and Krista E. Donnelly of Ashland; James P. and Shirley Arlene Fadden of Bellingham; John E. McGaffigan, Jr., of Groton; Maryanne K. Spillane McInturf of South Boston; and Timothy J. Van Damm of Somerville.
Admission to the order recognizes outstanding service to the Church. Candidates are invited to membership with the approval of their bishop and pastor, and, upon their investiture as knights and ladies, may use the titles of sir and lady.
Those invested belong to the order’s Northeastern lieutenancy, which encompasses the Boston Archdiocese and the dioceses of Burlington, Fall River, Manchester, Portland, Providence, Springfield, and Worcester.
The Order of the Holy Sepulcher traces its origins back to 1099 and is among the oldest orders in the Church. Its name derives from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which was built over the site of the crucifixion and burial place of Jesus and where members of the order were knighted during its early years.
Today, the mission of the order is religious and charitable. Members must commit to work to maintain a Christian presence in the Holy Land through prayer and financial support of its churches, schools and other Catholic institutions. In their daily lives, they must strive to exemplify Catholic ethical principals and offer daily prayer for peace in the Holy Land.
Since the Northeastern lieutenancy was established 25 years ago this year, its members have donated just over $2.9 million to the order’s mission in the Holy Land, according to Lieutenant Dennis J. Looney Jr.
He adds that membership in the lieutenancy, one of nine in the United States, numbers 722 including those invested this month. Worldwide, the order has approximately 20,000 members.
The investiture weekend in Boston began Friday evening with a memorial Mass and vigil service at Holy Cross Cathedral. In the context of the liturgy 10 members of the order received promotions in rank based on service. The following morning the lieutenancy held its annual meeting and a formal banquet followed the afternoon’s investiture Mass.