The Netherlands Association celebrates its centenary
The Grand Master in Utrecht to participate in the celebrations
The 100th anniversary of the Order of Malta’s Netherlands Association was celebrated on Saturday 24 September in the presence of the Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing with high mass in St. Catherine’s cathedral, historically linked to the Order of St. John and now seat of the archdiocese of Utrecht. During the celebration, Peter L.M. van Meeuwen, President of the Netherlands Association, admitted nine new members to the Order of Malta.
In offering his congratulations, Fra’ Matthew Festing thanked all those working in the Association’s welfare programmes, emphasizing that “we are all aware of the importance of the volunteers’ contribution”. The previous day, the Grand Master and the Grand Hospitaller Albrecht Boeselager had visited the Johannes Hospitium for the terminally ill, managed by the Association together with the Order of St. John.
Within the framework of the European Year of Volunteering, the Association struck a special medal, conferred by President van Meeuwen on some of the volunteers assisting the Order’s members in their work with the sick and disabled.
A book has been published for the Association’s first century, tracing the foundation and development of the Order of Malta in the Netherlands as well as the history of its women and men with articles, interviews and numerous photos. There is a section on the activities carried out during the last century, including care of the wounded during World War I. Another section covers current initiatives such as the pilgrimages to Lourdes and the camps organized for the young disabled. Fra’ Matthew Festing was presented with the first copy of the book.
Accompanying the Grand Master were the Order of Malta’s Grand Chancellor Jean Pierre Mazery and the Prelate, Archbishop Angelo Acerbi, former Apostolic Nuncio to Netherlands from 1997 and 2001.