The Order had a threefold celebration last March 19th as we witnessed the investiture rites of two new members: Doña Ma. Lourdes Bernadette Z. Banson and Don Leonardo B. De Ocampo, after completing a one year preparatory period. The ceremony was officiated by Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, D.D. of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, also Magistral Chaplain of the Order of Malta Philippines and concelebrated by Most Rev. Raul Martinez, D.D.
Archbishop Villegas in his homily traced the origins of the Order and reiterated the relevance of the Order’s charism in today’s world. The Association’s President, Don Ernesto B. Rufino Jr. as delegate of His Most Eminent Highness the Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta Fra’ Matthew Festing, led the traditional rite of investiture.
During this liturgical celebration, Magistral Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Genaro O. Diwa was elevated from the rank of Magistral Chaplain to the rank of Conventual Chaplain ad honorem while Cecilia R. Piñones who heads the Order of Malta Philippines Secretariat was awarded the Pro Merito Melitensi Award “Crucem Insignibus Ordinis Nostri Exornatam.”
The Principal Chaplain of the Order, Rev. Msgr. Esteban U. Lo, LRMS, led the vigil for the candidates to be invested. They were accompanied in prayer by other members of the Order.