The 12th Asia Pacific Conference of the Order of Malta was held in Seoul, South Korea between October 18 and 22. Over 50 representatives from National Associations, Delegations and Embassies of the Order of Malta across the two continents gathered to discuss how to strengthen works and initiatives in this area of the world.
The Asia Pacific Conferences provide an opportunity for discussion, exchange of ideas and to get guidance from the Grand Magistry. Present were the Grand Chancellor Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, Receiver of the Common Treasure Fabrizio Colonna di Paliano and the Prelate of the Order Msgr. Jean Laffitte. In their speeches at the opening of the conference, they provided an update on recent developments as well as future expectations. Msgr. Jean Laffitte elaborated on the theme of spirituality and formation as a fundamental factor for the growth of members within the charism of the Order of Malta.
Presidents and Hospitallers of the Order of Malta National Associations in the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and of the Delegations of Thailand and South Korea presented medical and social activities as well as emergency interventions in case of natural disasters developed in their respective countries and abroad. Special sessions were attended by Malteser International, which outlined its activities on the Asian continent, and Ciomal, the Order of Malta’s special foundation for the fight against leprosy.
The Order of Malta’s embassy in Timor-Leste, one of the poorest countries in Asia, highlighted the important work being done by the Order’s clinic in the capital city of Dili to combat diseases and malnutrition.
An important part of the conference was devoted, through the intervention of experts, to fundraising and project financing activities, with the aim of strengthening the financing capacity of the Order’s institutions.
The Asia Pacific Conference was also an opportunity for four new members of the Order to be admitted. During the Holy Mass on Oct. 21, celebrated by Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-Jung and concelebrated by the Order’s Prelate Msgr. Jean Laffitte at the Jeoldusan Martyrs’ Shrine in Seoul, three knights and one dame officially joined the Order of Malta. A round of applause from Conference participants underscored the joy of the moment.
The next Asia Pacific Conference, the 13th, will be held in 2024 in Manila, Philippines.