XXVI International Hospitallers’ Conference – Budapest
The XXVI International Hospitallers’ Conference was held in Budapest between 22- 25 March 2018.
The Hospitaller Dr. Kevin F. Dingli, accompanied by his wife Mrs. Corinne Dingli who joined the spouses’ programme, attended the event, which was presided over by the Grand Hospitaller H.E. Dominique Prince de La Rochefoucauld-Motbel and attended by 91 persons.
At the start of proceedings, the Grand Chancellor H.E. Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager updated all attendees on the state of play within the Order, particularly in light of the forthcoming Complete Council of State in Rome.
The Grand Hospitaller spoke at length about the role of the Hospitaller, whose duty it was to promote the very vocation of the Order, to boost his national Association into action and to be a light for volunteers.
The Prelate H.E. Reverend Monsignor Jean Laffitte in his delivery this year dwelt on “The Virtue of Hospitality” in his address. He emphasised that we do not just carry out a service, but we serve people. Our distinguishing mark is that our works are performed in the name of Christ. Listening to, and serving, are the pillars of hospitality. The worst offence any person could commit is to be indifferent to the needs of others.
Various topical presentations were delivered, including those on Malteser International, the Foundation Aide et Assistance, Roma Activities, the Holy Family Hospital, the Global Fund for Forgotten People and Communications. As always, the various Hospitallers in attendance had the opportunity of presenting their respective country reports.
In his own intervention Dr. Dingli set his focus on the various ongoing projects of the Maltese Association, also touching upon some of its other activities. Mention was also made of the pilgrimages in which the Association participated with a special mention of the national Ta’ Pinu pilgrimage. Finally an insight was given into new ventures within his sights. He also foresaw a highly probable resurgence in Malta of the irregular immigration by sea phenomenon as calmer weather approaches in view of the altered political landscape.
Holy Mass was celebrated every morning by H.E. Reverend Monsignor Jean Laffitte as main celebrant at the beautiful Egyetem (University) Church, but the highlight was most certainly the celebration of Palm Sunday at the most impressive Mathias Church, in the very heart of the Buda Castle district, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, where all participants and spouses were very specially seated in the chancel pews.
As always, the overriding importance of the International Hospitallers’ Conference is the unique opportunity it affords for creating meaningful bonds between all those whose responsibility it is to spearhead the good works of the order, fostering true solidarity and most significantly the cross-fertilisation of ideas.