3rd Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Sydney
(Participants at SMOM AP Conference, Sydney)
The Order of Malta’s 3rd Asia Pacific Regional Conference was attended by representatives from Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, Portugal, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines, Timor Leste, CIOMAL, Malteser International and the Grand Magistry.
Singapore was represented by President H.E. Michael Khoo, Hospitaller Isaac Krishnamoorthy and Chancellor Rose Lu.
The Order’s Grand Hospitaller, Albrecht von Boeselager, in his opening address stressed the importance of unity. This calls to mind Psalm 133, verse 1, “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity.” Unity begets “blessing” (verse 3).
Members necessarily share the same vocation and strive together for solidarity, justice and peace, based on the teaching of the Gospels. United in purpose and working together toward a common goal, only can members effectively dedicate themselves to serving the sick, poor, marginalized and victims of persecution of any race and religious faith.
We are called to Holiness and Mission.
This message aptly set the tone of the conference.
Day 1 of the conference was dedicated to reports by Associations and the Order’s specialized agencies and Day 2 was spent discussing growth in the Asia Pacific Region and recommendations.
The conference was a grace-filled experience. Participants “saw”, “heard” and “tasted” the goodness of the Lord and were deeply touched and inspired.
Reports of charitable works undertaken by various Associations and future plans in aid of the sick and needy not only bore testimony to the Order’s motto, “Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum” but spoke volumes of God’s unconditional love at work.
CIOMAL’s involvement in the fight against leprosy and Malteser International’s worldwide disaster relief works are amazing.
The works were commendable but of greater significance was the zeal, dedication, commitment and unconditional giving that distinguished and elevated the works of the Associations and the Order’s specialized agencies to an inspirational and grace-filled plane.
The wellspring of this awesome grace to love unconditionally must be Jesus Christ, who came “to bring good news to the poor ……. proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind” (Lk 4:18), and who identified himself with “the least of these,” the hungry and the stranger (Mt 31:45).
Listening to the reports and savouring the outpouring of unconditional love in every life-giving project, one cannot but be inspired.
It is undeniable that as long as our commitment to the Order’s mission is rooted in and strengthened by our spiritual lives and a deep communion with God, we will be empowered to truly love one another as God has loved us.
Indeed we are called to Holiness and Mission.
The Masai Prayer – a prayer that Monsignor Tony Doherty, Magistral Chaplain of Australia shared with participants at the conference – wrapped up the conference beautifully:
May you see what you see through different eyes
Hear what you hear through different ears
May you taste what you have never tasted before
and go further than yourself
Order of Malta, Singapore