XXVII International Hospitallers’ Conference in Rome
The Hospitaller Dr. Kevin F. Dingli participated at the XXVII International Hospitallers’ Conference which was hosted by the Italian Association and held at its San Giovanni Battista Hospital in Rome between 21 – 24 March 2019.
Following the celebration of Holy Mass by the Order’s Prelate, H.E. Mgr. Jean Lafitte as main celebrant, the conference was officially opened by the Grand Hospitaller H.E. Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel who welcomed all delegates.
The floor was then passed on to the Grand Chancellor H.E. Albrecht Boeselager who delivered the opening address, focussing on the restructuring exercise underway at the Grand Magistry, the diplomatic activities of the Order and the current state of affairs within the Order. He concluded by highlighting the leadership function of the Hospitaller position within each National Association, guiding Members of the Order in fulfilling their commitment.
The Grand Chancellor was followed in turn by the Grand Hospitaller and the Prelate. Various presentations were delivered throughout the conference by representatives of various entities including Malteser International, the Holy Family Hospital, the Grand Magistry Communications Office and the Global Fund for Forgotten People. The Hospitallers then gave a presentation on the charitable works being carried out in their respective territories, and a special address was also delivered by the Chancellor of the Venezuelen Association, who updated delegates on the dire situation prevailing in his country.
The Hospitaller briefly reviewed the various projects and other activities being undertaken by the Maltese Association and gave an insight into others which are being contemplated. Mention was also made of the prevailing migrant saga, with particular emphasis on the dramatic episode which played out over two whole weeks last December – January involving migrants stranded at sea on board the NGO rescue vessels SEA WATCH and the PROFESSOR ALBRECHT PENCH.
H.M.E.H. the Grandmaster Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto also paid a visit to the conference over lunch on the first day and was introduced to all participants. The Grandmaster also attended the formal dinner held at the House of the Knights of Rhodes, home of the Italian Association. In his address he expressed special thanks to all Hospitallers for their dedication and the crucial task they perform, recalling the reminder by Pope Francis that the cry of the poor is becoming increasingly stronger, but less and less heard every day, in a richer but increasingly indifferent world.
A special treat for delegates was a visit to the Museum of the Corpo Militare Associazione Cavalieri Italiani del Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta in the afternoon of the second day of the conference.
The conference closed with the celebration of Sunday Holy Mass in the Church of Santa Maria del Priorato on the Aventine Hill by the Pope’s Special Delegate H.E. Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu as main celebrant, assisted by the Prelate and Fr. Gerard Lagleder who concelebrated, in the presence of the Grandmaster and the Grand Hospitaller. in his lovely homily Cardinal Becciu reminded us that the good works we perform are for the greater glory of God, and not of ourselves. This was followed by coffee and snacks out in the Palace gardens overlooking St. Peter’s Basilica in glorious sunshine.
The Hospitaller also attended the Annual General Assembly of Malteser International, in representation of the Maltese Association of which it is a member.
The Hospitaller was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Corinne Dingli, who joined the Spouses’ Programme and attended all social events.