Always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in you.

(1 Peter 3:15 )

Mission Statement


To aid members of the Western Association of the Order of Malta in learning about the teachings of the Catholic Church, experiencing its traditions, and practicing its devotions so as to enhance our relationship with God and contribute to our growth in the Faith.


Chair


Anne S. Forsyth, DM – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Committee Members


Rev. Reginald Martin, O.P., Magistral Chaplain

David Barca, KM

Tom Greerty, KM

Ginny Hurley, DM

Sandie Mapp, DM

Helene Markel, DM

Tom Matthews, KM

The Nurturing the Faith Committee (NTF) is the newest committee in the Western Association, having been formed in 2011. Its work, however, is not new; prior to its inception, its activities were carried out under the aegis of the Defense of the Faith Committee. While the two committees remain closely related, they have different functions.

The activities of the NTF are ordered to helping members advance in personal sanctification, the first purpose of the Order of Malta. The NTF also helps members acquire the knowledge needed to defend the faith and to sustain them in their works of service.  By learning more deeply about God and the teachings of the Church, we grow in love for Him and are moved to loving service of the suffering Christ, present in our beloved malades.

In 1997, Saint John Paul II met with the Grand Master of the Order of Malta and, in recognition of the Order’s mission to “defend the faith,” entrusted the Catechism of the Catholic Church to it saying:

Today the defense of the faith is expressed above all in giving witness by word and action to the Christian truths. This presupposes as a preliminary condition that you are well instructed in these truths and thoroughly convinced of the duty to profess them with courage and firmness, as is required of a "knight" who keeps his word. In this perspective, I would like symbolically to entrust to all the members of the Order of Malta the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which has recently been published in the Latin typical edition. Defending the faith often means – especially in our time – defending the great values that human reason without the light of Revelation risks misunderstanding in their integral and radical nature. These are, for example, human dignity, the nature of the family and the fundamental right to life. Mr Ambassador, I encourage the whole Order to continue generously supporting these spiritual battles, on which the civilization of the third millennium depends.

The need for Catholics who are knowledgeable about the faith and its dogmas, devotions, and moral teachings is urgent. As Catholics we are called upon to articulate the reasons for the Church’s teachings, particularly on marriage, the family, and human life and dignity, all under assault by our culture and even our institutions of government.

By gaining a deeper understanding of the Church’s teachings and by nurturing our faith through prayer and devotions, we will be more and more suited to carry out our two-fold mission as members of the Order of Malta: tuitio fidei and obsequiem pauperum, the defense of the faith and the care of the poor and sick.

Activities

  1. Growth in Holiness.  The NTF provides assistance for members with respect to this objective in four ways:
    1. An annual subscription to Magnificat.
    2. Publication of Reflections at Lent, Advent, and during Ordinary Time – a collection of excerpts from the writings of the saints, the Holy Father, prelates; selections from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other works; and images from the Church’s long tradition of sacred art.
    3. Email notifications throughout the year about the feasts days and saints of our Order.
    4. Collaboration with location leadership in arrangements for spiritual devotions, e.g., annual retreat, morning of recollection, a First Saturday Mass and brunch, etc.
  2. Catechesis.  To provide a witness to the truths of the Catholic faith, we must first be instructed in them.  The NTF has begun three projects that aim at familiarizing members of the Order with the contents and teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    1. A schedule of daily readings of the Catechism, that breaks down the text into 365 small sections. By reading a section each day, members can complete the entire Catechism in one year.
    2. An e-letter entitled CREDO that aims to unpack what is taught in the Catechism, with the aid of writings by its director, Cardinal Schönborn, leading prelates, and Catholic writers and teachers,
    3. Each year, the NTF and DOF arrange for and host an afternoon conference during the annual Investiture Vigil for knights and dames of the Western Association who will be attending the Investiture.

Resources (link)

Committee members also offer a list of educational and spiritual resources below. Additions to this list are made frequently, so please check periodically for new resources.

Publications (link)