Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
The Singapore Association of the Order of Malta celebrated the Patronal Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist on the 23rd June with a solemn Mass in the beautiful chapel of St. Joseph’s Institution International. This year’s celebration is especially significant as it also commemorates the 900th anniversary of the recognition of the Order of St John by Pope Paschal II.
The Order of Malta (originally called The Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem) traditionally celebrates this feast in honor of its patron saint. All over the world, Knights and Dames of the Order in various priories and associations come together to celebrate the ties that bind us as a community in faith, charity and service to the poor.
On this occasion, we were blessed to have Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia (Conventual Chaplain of the Order) as the main celebrant for the Mass. He was joined by Monsignor William Goh, the Archbishop of Singapore, as co-celebrant.
In attendance were Knights and Dames of the Singapore Association, robed in the formal dress of the Order. Friends, family and Associates were also present to join us in celebrating this grand feast. Assisting in the Mass was the combined service of Altar Servers from the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd and SJI International, under the guidance and direction of Master of Liturgical Celebrations, Knight Mark Chin.
Adding to the solemnity of the feast and the grandeur of the Mass were the inspiring voices of Hosea, A Little Music Ministry Choir from the Church of the Holy Spirit.
In a celebration marked by reverence, beauty and joy, Monsignor Nicholas Chia reminded all members of the Order that the greatest privilege conferred on a Knight or Dame was to be a servant to the poor and the sick. In order to do this well, it was also essential for members to be formed in their Catholic faith, so that from the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love, our charitable works may be more authentic expressions of our faith in Christ.
Following the final blessing at Mass, all present were invited to join the Order for fellowship and dinner in the school’s banquet hall. In all, it was a beautiful commemoration of a great feast, celebrated with friends and family in the Order of Malta.