Chevalier Fidèle

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The Fuel of Faith

“Brothers and Sisters we thank you for your Sacrifice…” And with hearing that, I felt that all my rushing and restraint to avoid head butting my laptop was worth it. When I say technology and I don’t get along- we don’t get along. I must be one of the few humans alive still using an MD Player with Mini Disks for my music. It took my sponsor, Prior Gagnon, two phone calls and several readings of the home page to get the team speak working. It was a fight to get the program working for me. As I introduce myself, I listen to others announce themselves. I stop and give pause- being pragmatic and mercenary in trade; I ask myself besides honoring the call to duty, “Why am I here? What pulled me to stop everything? What am I lacking?” Then it slowly comes: Fellowship and agreement. That is what I felt I was missing. The overwhelming need to be with others for the same heartfelt purpose. I was drawn to the order for support of my brethren and to support others. I listen with my ears and head. Then my heart listens. As Grand Prior calls out the Battle Honors of our forefathers. I pause and wonder; “Did they feel as I feel now?”


When I was younger I was taught the Pastor, Sunday School Teacher, and the Missionary are posts of callings and honor. These are my heroes. At times I am remiss to remember them, let alone to pray for them. Then I hear prayers for all Sects of Christendom’ leaders, Missionaries and churches, with a moment of pause. Being taught that prayer is the fuel for the fire. Faith requires Prayer- Fire requires fuel. Fire is Faith.


It was a roller coaster of mind, heart, and spirit. Then, to further add to my tech issues, I drop my phone and it goes to pieces. Parts to the of left me, and parts to the right. As my call drops I am upset, but desiring to hear more. As plans for next year’s call, I will have a hard line. Nothing breaks the old bakolite plastic phone. Until next time I eagerly await.

Orthodox Church of America

2018 Diocesan Assembly

November 2018


Every year, lay delegates and parish pastors join our Diocesan Council at an assembly to keep all the parishes in our diocese abreast of issues impacting the church.


I was honored to represent my parish at the assembly. Some legal matters were discussed briefly, including privacy issues in taking photos.

The Council has asked that it be advertised whenever pictures are to be taken at an event. Also, pastoral counseling through social media has been prohibited.


But, the first hot button issue of the day was the new law in New Hampshire that requires clergy to be mandated reporters. The same law came up for a vote in Massachusetts, but it did not pass.


It was reported that the Orthodox Church in America is experiencing a national shortage of clergymen. The diocese of New England currently has four vacancies. The discussion that followed had lay delegates on their feet speaking from the heart about churches that are facing closure versus new mission churches being funded by the diocese.


His eminence Archbishop Nikon reminded those in attendance that we must all think of ourselves as missionaries all the time. Churches are being formed where they are needed and combined/closed when that is the only option left, and this is not a bad thing. He said it’s simply a response to the changing population.


His eminence urged parishioners to have conviction in their faith and let God show Jesus to the whole world through them, and he called for more cooperation between churches.


The theme for the assembly this year was “Who are we, what are we doing, and where are we going?” Fr. Vladimir Aleandro of Christ the Savior church of Southbury, CT was the first of three presenters; he is credited with founding that church, as well as one in Turkana, Africa. Fr. Aleandro reminded us that to answer those three questions, self-reflection is necessary.


He said missionary work is needed everywhere all the time, and we must remember to ask the question, “Is your world in your church, or is your church the world?” A recent event held at the church in Southbury sold so many tickets, the church held a second showing.


The Gospel of Matthew was read with performers acting out the story of Jesus. The event brought in attendees who were familiar with the story, as well as curios spiritual seekers. The church plans to hold more similar events in the future.


Fr. John Hopko talked about the 19th annual Youth Rally, which was a raving success again this year. The Saint Methodius Faith and Heritage Center of Contoocook, New Hampshire hosted the event again, but the camp is seeking a larger donation from the diocese for next year’s rally. The Diocesan Council will be tasked with deciding whether to pay more or find another location.


Silence came over the assembly when Fr. Hopko responded to a concern about youth leaving the church with one word, “Sex.” He said our society and the media are normalizing extramarital relations and our kids want to leave as soon as a priest tells them, “No.” Parents are urged to talk more with their children about why abstinence is the best decision instead of leaving it to the priest.


Fr. Peter Carmichael from the Holy Trinity church of Springfield, VT also presented. He credits the continued success in his parish to dedicated choir directors, a devout core of parishioners, and the well-oiled machine that handles all the church’s events and administrative operations.


Fr. Carmichael got the most questions when he talked about the church’s budget. He said the church holds a grinder sale for the community five times a year, and that, along with the AT&T cell tower on the property and the money the parishioners put in the collection basket covers all of the church’s expenses. Parishioners are never asked to give any more than that.


That church’s expenses do not include living expenses for Fr. Carmichael, however, and he does have a full-time job. He also said the economy is driving people out of New England, and he speculated that this may be a large part of the reason for the changing population in the diocese.


Fr. John Jillians was the third and final presenter at the assembly. After talking about how he became a priest he brought a hush over the room when he mentioned the queer population. He said while this topic has stirred up strong emotions at past meetings, it is time to have a serious discussion about how the church ministers to them. Fr. Jillians urged the assembly to remember the way Jesus met everyone where they are with acceptance and compassion, and to let God be the judge.


Religion versus spirituality was the final hot button issue of the weekend. Many people say they are spiritual but not religious, and attendees asked for a clear cut ‘how to’ for bringing these people into the church. But, according to Fr. Jillians and Fr. Aleandro, there is no instruction manual. Both pastors reminded the assembly that everyone is different and it is important to faithfully discern the right time to say something. Inspiration was discussed, and attendees were invited to share something that has inspired them. Elections for three open slots on the Diocesan Council were held without ballots; there were as many nominations. The first meeting of the new Diocesan Council will be held November 14th in Hartford, CT.

Reporting from Connecticut
Rebekah Lee
RebekahLeeLMT@gmail.com
Editor In Cheif
Connecticut





The story and the bigger story.

November 2018


On Saturday, the 29th of September, I made the drive up to Stuart, Iowa to attend the investiture for the Priory of Saint Benedict at the restored and rare Byzantine All Saints center and former catholic church. On the three and a half hour drive up from Kansas City, on a chilly rainy day, which I found fitting for attending a Templar event, I had time to think about writing this article.


The plan was to cover the investiture, give the details of who was attending and who was being promoted. However, that information had already been passed along to the Order thru the Priory's page and the mail channel. That was going to be the story. End of story.


But there was a bigger story to be told, one of divine triumph.


All Saints Catholic Church was constructed in 1908 in the small community of Stuart, Iowa. In what was truly a community effort, Catholics and non-Catholics alike worked together for the monumental project. Two years later, in July 1910, a special ceremony was held to dedicate the church. The walls of the church were dedicated to God. Ironically, it is the walls that still remain. In 1995, a lone arsonist, consumed by hate for the Catholic religion, set fire to the historic church to quote " tear out the heart and soul of a community" nearly destroying it after using over 23 gallons of accelerant. In the months that followed, the parish council elected to build a new structure outside of the city.


The residents of Stuart didn't want the beautiful old church to be torn down. They pulled together believers and non-believers alike and passed a bond issue that allowed for the restoration of the church as well as a new school, new city hall and community center, upgrades to the little downtown area and new firetrucks and ambulances.


The bigger story is one of God turning an attack into victory with interest. How all the heart and soul of a community was restored above and beyond anyone's expectations and definitely beyond the expectations of the arsonist who died 6 months after being released from prison.


This is what God does, taking the hurt, burnt and hopeless and giving new life. Love conquers hate.

The restoration of a church, of a town, of a community of people.

This is what he'll do for you, if your trust in Him.

Doug Peterson

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of St. Bartholomew

Virginia






There’s Prayer in the Air!!

October 2018


      I am excited to announce our first annual O.S.M.T.J National Day of Prayer. This event has been approved by Grand Prior T. Bryant Jones and Grand Seneschal Caesar Johnson.


     Come and join your brothers and sisters in prayer and fellowship. On Sunday, October 14th at 7pm EST, we will go online for a virtual conference.


     We will begin with an opening prayer, after which we will be honoring our fallen brothers and sisters throughout our history with a memorial. Following our Templar Memorial, we will be praying for world, national and local issues.


     Listen as our brothers and sisters deliver their authored testimonials from across the country. We will also hear prayer requests submitted by each priory for our families, friends, and all those who need prayer. All members have been invited to submit prayer requests. Finally, we will pray for our current brothers and sisters who are suffering from sickness or financial strain and anyone who may need emotional support.


     Please make an effort to join us. It is our hope that all of our members can come together for this event. Prayer has the power of strength in numbers. You may wish to contact your Prior or Commander for more details. Information will be added to our main OSMTJ Facebook page.


     We will be using the “FreeConferenceCall” app. Make sure to download it and become familiar with it ahead of time. There are tutorials available, as well as 24 hour support from the company’s website.

God Bless,

Sir Michael Laverne Barrozo
Guest writer
California




National Conclave 2018: Fellowship and Stewardship

October 2018


    OSMTJ members gathered under sunny skies and gorgeous temperatures in Kingston, NY for the National Conclave and Investiture on Friday, August 24, 2018. Father Caesar Johnson, along with Prior Willard Carpenter, greeted arriving members, making introductions and welcoming first time attendees. The afternoon began a weekend of service, celebration, and friendship.


     With dinner plans agreed upon and relayed, various Priories and Commanderies represented set out to purpose, plan and pray over upcoming events, outreach, goals, and charitable works. Over coffee at a round table (yes very appropriate!), members of the newly sanctioned Pennsylvania Priory of Anne Askew embarked upon the awesome task of defining their mission and goals, membership recruiting, service events, community outreach, and hosting the 2019 National Conclave in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania next September.


     Although a large and challenging undertaking, Prior Carpenter, Stephen & Beth McElroy and David Haberman laid the foundation for the event through shared vision and creative ideas. The work of Christ - seeking the lost, sharing the Good News, caring for widows and orphans - infused light and excited anticipation into each aspect of planning. The evening re-united groups and members for dinner at a local Texas Roadhouse, where happy fellowship ensued well into the evening.


      Saturday morning, members convened at the VFW Post 8645 for the service event. Many hands make light work, and where servants' hearts preside, tasks become joyful expressions of Christ in us. Tables and chairs were placed, corn husked, tableware, napkins and plates readied, and the body edified through encouragement and friendship.


    Fellow Templars from across our nation - Maine, Connecticut, New York, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and California - worked, learned and laughed together, sharing the love of Christ through stewardship.


     Members spoke on various topics throughout the day, and security was one area of instruction. John Trazino, Templar and member of Operation Archangel, addressed active shooter situations and fielded questions. Operation Archangel partners with schools, churches, businesses and organizations to bring together their staff, congregants, or members who possess needful skills - including situational awareness, security, medical training, or communications - to aid and act in emergency situations. Protecting those around us is one call Templars embrace and strive to uphold. Learn more about Operation Archangel at https://www.facebook.com/Operation-Archangel-1550462658546143/.


     Afterward, Knights, Dames, and fellow members lined up to serve dinner to VFW members and the supporting community, receiving warm welcomes and hearty conversation. Children played, running and laughing amongst young and old, and in doing so, brought their own gift of blessing. Perhaps most importantly, they gained a vision of service in Christ through the witness of servanthood in action around them.


      Stunning in beautiful craftsmanship and filled with history, Old Dutch Reformed Church welcomed OSMTJ for the Investiture service and dinner at evening's end. Our regional Bishop presided along with Father Caesar Johnson and Grand Prior Bryant Jones. Exhortation to fulfill the call of service in Christ, love of God and His Way, faithfulness in all circumstances and joy in His salvation as children of the Most High culminated in member inductions, promotions and knighting. Many brothers and sisters were recognized for faithful service, receiving the thanks of their fellow Templars and commemorative certificates of appreciation.


      It is wondrous and awe-inspiring to be called by ADONAI, the Lord of heaven and earth, redeemed from sin and death, set apart for God Himself through Christ Jesus. Our stewardship of the Good News of Christ is the determining factor for multiplying the kingdom of God; may we strive to be worthy of the glorious call of Christ Jesus.


      Matthew 28:18-19 ~ Jesus came and talked with them, saying, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make people from all nations into disciples, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I will be with you always, yes, even to the end of the age.

Reporting from Kingston, New York
Rebecca Rae Haberman
Editor
Staff Writer / National News
Pennsylvania Priory of Anne Askew
Pennsylvania





Happy Fourth of July
July 2018

Reporting from outside the gates of Ft. Hood, Texas. The home of The First Cavalry Division and The First Armor Division.

Michele Carpenter, Editor; Willard Carpenter, Senior Editor, with daughter in law Bianca and son Mark and our Grandson Micha.






Fireworks in the background at the stadium at Ft. Hood.

Reporting from Texas

Willard N. Carpenter

Communications Executive Officer

Senior Editor

Sir Willard Carpenter is the Knight Commander of the Pa. Commanders of the Trinity







Change of Command

National Chaplain/Chaplains Corps

July 2018


Following a regularly scheduled election, Chaplain Jim Lanley received the majority of the votes to become the new National Chaplain of the order.  National Chaplain’s term begins July 1 and will last until June 30, 2019 at which time an election will be held per Chaplain’s Corps rules.


Chaplain DeFord moves to the position of National Chaplain Emeritas.

Reverend Richard DeFord

Staff Writer / The Lord's Corner

Staff Writer / Domine

Reporting for National News from Sedalia, Missouri







Restructuring

July 2018


Restructuring is the word for the month as the nation’s midsection Priories and Commanderies reorganized to allow greater fellowship with closer proximity.  Chaplain Richard DeFord, serving out the remainder of his term as National Chaplain, stepped down as prior for HIS Coming Glory of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa.  Chaplain DeFord’s work responsibilities have greatly increased, and he felt it would be better for the organization to have new leadership.


As a result, Grand Turcopolier Connie Carlisle Carlson assumed leadership of the nation’s midsection, retaining the name Priory of St. Andrews, and moving HIS Coming Glory to Commandery status with Missouri and Kansas being retained.  In addition to HIS Coming Glory, St. Andrews includes the Commandery of St. Thomas (IN, IL and UT).


The states of Iowa and Nebraska moved to the newly advanced Priory of St. Benedict under the leadership of Prior Trey Emery.  St. Benedict was a Commandery before the restructure.


The former priory of St. Andrews was renamed with the promotion of Sir John Harris to the rank of Prior.  The new priory under his leadership is named the Priory of St. Bernard de Clairvaux.

Reverend Richard DeFord

Staff Writer / The Lord's Corner

Staff Writer / Domine

Reporting for National News from Sedalia, Missouri







From Commandery to Priory
July 2018

God's given task for me to move my commandery to a priory has now arrived on the home stretch. 

Upon completion of organization of the commandery as Knight Commander of the Pennsylvania Commandery of the Trinity I moved to task those within the commandery. 

The following is the "Marching Orders" for the Commandery. 

Spent the day working on the Commandery of the Trinity. These are our new marching orders. Ok, the long awaited "MARCHING ORDERS"! Since our state is so wide I am not under any false ideas that we can just all get together at any one given time, though this will begin to happen. Henceforth, if you strive toward knighthood and knowing that you are witnessed by God you are to within this Commandery 1) Do a good turn daily. Yes it is a boyscout slogan. I want to bring you to a daily reminder to yourself as to who you are. Are you at the grocery store? Push carts up with you. Mother struggling with her cart and with kids? Help. Someone in a grocery line outside of Ft. Campbell swiped his card for my groceries. I had the money, my card didn't work. He smiled and said Oops to late! It moved me! My son would pay for the person behind him at a drivethru or toll booth. Sick in bed? Pray for those sicker! 2) Once a month do something big! within your church or outside. We had people from Mexico a whole family with children. It's not about politics! I am conservative! They had a sign for food. God wants you to feed the poor. I fed the poor. Politics be damned!! (I mean those 3 words) You will quietly or in celebration within the Trinity site let me know how you are carrying out your tasks toward knighthood. As time marches on and we come into our own Priory we will do things together as a Priory. This is the Marching Orders. We are not a wall art organization! I expect from myself and all of you to fullfil the above to the best of your ability. Now forge ahead and do a good turn daily!

From here and after becoming a Priory we begin to come together physically in fellowship. There lies the new challenge as we are a very wide state. 

Reporting from Pennsylvania

Willard N. Carpenter

Communications Executive Officer

Senior Editor

Sir Willard Carpenter is the Knight Commander of the Pa. Commanders of the Trinity







New National Chaplain 

July 2018


We are happy to welcome the Reverend Jim Lanley as National Chaplain for the OSMTJ  Knights Templar of America. The Reverend Lanley's Bio reads as follows.

Missionary to 18 countries with 9 years in China alone. Pastored 2 Churches, Youth Pastor of 3 Churches. Evangelist, Teacher, Church Planter, Pastoral Trainer Married to Keitha Lanley.  35 years ministerial experience. 

Reporting from Pennsylvania

Willard N. Carpenter

Demelun@hotmail.com

Communications Executive Officer

Senior Editor







Feed the Poor

Pennsylvania Commandery of the Trinity

July 2018


It is so easy to get lost in politics in the volatility of this time. Politics is about how we rule ourselves in law. In our republic we have laws. We follow them. God has his law also. The 2 do not clash. Yes we obey the law regarding immigration. We should support those laws. We can and should at the same time obey  Gods law. 


Matthew 25: 35  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 


Luke 3:11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”


There is a time in-between the time "illegal imigrants" arrive and leave. That is God's time. A time when we can act. Feed the poor. Recently in Bectelsville Pennsylvania A young immigrant couple with their children stood with a sign asking for food. My wife shopped for us. I shopped for them. Feed the poor. Simply feed the poor. 

Reporting from Pennsylvania

Willard N. Carpenter

Communications Executive Officer

Senior Editor

Sir Willard Carpenter is the Knight Commander of the Pa. Commanders of the Trinity







Investiture 2018 – Priory of Saint Andrews

June 2018


The Investiture held in Ripley, Mississippi was an incredible experience. For those who question the realness of the Order, attending Investiture and / or Conclave is a way to bring to light the realness of the Order.


Without any form of face-to-face interaction, many will consider this just an online club or membership; but being part of this order is so much more.


Recently, there was a conversation on the Priory chat about the realness of our Order. Yes, it is a challenge for people in some locations, and for individual Commanderies to meet on a regular basis due to geography and finances. However, if members do not make an effort or a time sacrifice to meet then it the perception of this Order being an online club will continue. Now about the Investiture…


The Investiture in Ripley, Mississippi brought the meeting of old friends from previous Investitures/Conclaves, the forging of new friendships, and some surprises.


On a personal level, it was great to see again my fellow Templars from previous meetings, and it was great to meet face-to-face, those I have been interacting with through social media, and finally authenticating those relationships, in person.


The meet and greet on Friday was very laid back, some had been there a few hours, and some were just rolling in as the group gathered in the lobby of the hotel. Everyone had their name tag and on saying whom they were, and to whom they were related.


This was a family affair for sure including husbands, wives, and children. As everyone became acquainted to each other, each participated in putting together the good bags for the distribution to the nursing home residents the next day, then it was off to dinner, and finally some rest for the weary travelers.


Saturday was a very busy day. After breakfast, the vehicles were loaded up and everyone caravanned to the nursing homes. At the nursing home, everyone participated in handing out “goodie” bags to the residents. We were met with joy by most of the residents who were cognizant enough to interact with us.


Sadly, there were some with decreased or altered mental states, who did not respond to our presence. Nonetheless, every resident received a “goodie” bag. It was nice seeing the children present participating and actively engaging with the resident. For some of them, this was truly an eye opening experience, and a lesson in what lies ahead for all of us, old age.


I explained to my kids why we were there, and explained to them that sad reality of adult children putting their parents in these facilities and sometimes never going to visit them. At the nursing home, Sir Hagood’s wife and Sir Rivas’ daughter played the violin, while Seneschal’s son danced with a resident. After visiting the nursing home, it was off to lunch and the hotel to get ready for the Investiture ceremony.


The site for the Investiture ceremony was an old church from the Civil War era built in 1886, the Wiers Chapel Methodist Church. From the outside, the church was a very simple structure that is not much to look at. It definitely was not a cathedral or a castle! However, once you enter into the chapel, one is transported back in time, with the old wood floor and wooden pews, which gave everyone a feel and an appreciation for this church.


It was truly a humbling experience entering this church. The Templar décor and the limited lighting created a humbling atmosphere that was in the true spirit of the Poor Knights of Christ. The guests made their way into the chapel and settled in, while the ceremony participants prepared for the Investiture ceremony. The procession began.


Led by Seneschal Ken Brown and followed by Marshall John Harris, Sword bearer Knights Lieutenant James Howard, Turcopolier Trey Emery, Chaplain Jim Lanley, the Knight Aspirants, Drapers Knights Lieutenant Mark Pica, Sergeants at Arms, and Companions at Arms, the ceremony participants entered the chapel and took their places.


The ceremony began with a prayer, singing, and communion for the Knight aspirants. Grand Commandant Connie Carlson spoke to the audience about knighthood, challenges, spiritual battles, and reads from the Bible.


            Companions at Arms CAA Mark Moore and CAA Rhonda Cox Brown are called forward. Grand Commandant Carlson presents them each with their neck cross and announces their promotion to Sergeant at Arms. The Knight aspirants called forward were Sergeants Marty Hagood, Philip Burd Jr., Tony Huffmaster, David E. Roth, Brandon Shepard (surprise #1), and Victor (Reeves) Rivas. One by one, the Knight aspirants presented themselves and Grand Commandant Carlson bestowed upon them Accolades of Knighthood. The ceremony concluded with the Templar oath and a prayer, but this was only the beginning.

            As an added surprise, Marshall Harris presented his two sons and these young men became the first Squires/Pages within the Order. This is a brief synopsis of the ceremonial events of the Investiture, which really provides no true perspective of the feeling to actually being present.


Back at the hotel, there were moments of fellowship, prayers, and singing in the lobby with a Christian group, which happened to be staying at the same hotel. Experiencing the positive influence of the Order and fellowship with Marshall Harris’ boys, the children of Sir Rivas later expressed their desire to become Squires/Pages, to Grand Commandant Carlson, who were later, after conversation and prayer, announced as Squires/Pages. What an amazing weekend!


In all, the Investiture yielded the announcement of four (4) Squires/Pages, the promotion of two (2) to Sergeant, and six (6) new Knights to the Priory of Saint Andrews. Congratulations to everyone!


Membership in the Order is sometimes a personal sacrifice. We all have busy schedules but we must make time for what we want, and for what we need. The personal connection is one thing we all need, and I think we all should put forth that extra effort to connect with those in close proximity to each other.

Personally connecting with another Templar is what will make us stronger. Proverbs 27:17 (NIV) says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” We have to be there for one another, especially in the world we live in full of evil, hatred, and temptation. However, one must remember that it is not for the glory of the individual, but for the glory of God the Father, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… Christ first, Templar second.
      

Reporting from Mississippi

Victor Reeves

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of St. Andrews







PRIORY OF ST. GABRIEL'S NEWS

June 2018


As the months have gone by, our Priory continues to grow and the bond amongst our members continues to grow as well.

Back in January, Prior Keith suggested a service program called, "The Twelve in Twelve". This service initiative allowed each member to commit to a service project in their community for their particular month chosen.


I am glad to say that we are seeing momentum in  this initiative and are going strong. As many of the service projects have taken place in nursing homes, the May / June service project will take place at Fisher House in Houston.


Fisher House allows for short term stay for family members whose loved ones are seeking medical treatment at the Michael E DeBakey Veterans Medical Center.  Family members can stay in a room at no charge while loved ones are being treated, without the stresses of trying to find a place to stay or possible financial burdens.


Our service project will consist of visiting and preparing a meal for those who wish to participate. Also, we will be providing paper goods in donation to be used by the residents as well.

Our next knighting ceremony is planned for October and will again take place at Newman's Castle located in Bellville, Texas.

Recently, some events have taken place within the borders of our Priory.  Bombings in Austin, and most recently the tragic events that took place at a local high school in Santa Fe.


Sometimes these events do not directly affect us but certainly have a psychological effect on us. We watch constant news updates in full high definition as these unspeakable acts unfold.


We mourn and grieve with our neighbors and friends and try and support one another to get through those things in life which are unexpected. Usually, it is our faith, and love for a Heavenly Father that allows us to cope with these challenging times and to get on to a different kind of normal.


Regardless of the outcome, our reasoning through the events, or just the impact it leaves on us as witnesses, forces us to hold on to our faith and surround ourselves with similar-minded friends and family to have strength together. Our prayers are with those affected, or those who may have their own personal trials and circumstances, that they may receive blessings of comfort and peace.

The Prior and I wish to express our appreciation for Our Brothers and Sisters of the Order, whereever they may be, and to share the knowledge that all of you are loved and watched over by Our Lord Jesus Christ in all matters of our lives. May we all be blessed with inner peace.

Reporting from Texas

Kevin Dorsey

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of St. Gabriel

Texas






Army Wives

A Mothers Day Feature.

May 2018


1 John 4:7 King James Version (KJV)

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.


My daughter, as some of you may know, is married to a United States Army officer. This past December 5th, our fifth grandchild was born, our daughter’s second child, anther son.


As our son-in-law had been sent away on temporary duty (TDY) this past March our daughter had arranged for me to join her for what was supposed to be eighteen days and turned out to be twenty because of being snowed out of Philadelphia.


It obviously was not my first time to the area. Actually, my first time was when I was all but a young twenty year old, fresh out of training at Fort Sam Houston.


I was assigned to an airborne division, then, shortly after arriving, because of the needs of the Army reassigned to a combat support hospital. When the field hospital was not in the field I was at the regular army hospital. My job was “medical specialist” (91B20) assigned to pediatric ward.


Full circle I’m back, now a husband; grandfather; father; retired nurse; a veteran of eleven years; writer. The weather was cold and dry. The struggle between hot and cold was evident in this small southern town.


Settling into a routine, my daughter began to find, a little, much needed down time with her friends who lived across the street and next door. They were all from varying backgrounds, ethnicity and races. They all had one thing in common. They were wives, mothers and many times, alone.


The sound of the distant boom became a part of the norm as the artillery range was busy on any given day. Helicopters, flying overhead was exciting, as I would grab a break and see what was flying.


Security both on line and in the first person is done as second nature as getting up in the morning. I would, as I do now, always have a firearm nearby or on my person. It is the world in which we live today.


Part of the routine was “where daddy was”, or “how long before daddy is home”. The moms live a life of being a single parent. Not by their choice, but because of duty to and love for country. It was and is their normal.


Cai, my grandson, 3 years old, only knew that daddy was not there. He had, outside of his bedroom door, a chain made of colored construction paper. On each link was a number representing the days left before Daddy would be home. Before his nighttime prayers he would tear off the bottom link, revealing the next link and the days left. It gave him hope.


Of the six women, all but 2 of the families had men away. For some of them, their routines and prayers, took on a deeper meaning.


Across the street Esther has 4 children. Mary has 2. Faith has 1. Martha next door has 3 children. Kathryn, who lived around the corner, had two children. I believe the oldest child of all, is nine.


They always shared, drinks, food, homes and time. They shared; they shared love for each other and children. Though the longing and difficulties were evident they put on a brave face and proceeded through life with faith and confidence.

The weather that became a snowstorm here in the northeast was first a coming together of a warm and cold front in the south. The tornado warnings for our area as anywhere in the south are fearful. There are no basements.


Of the off post homes that made up my daughter’s neighborhood, only Kathryn’s had below grade sheltering. I offered what ever I could do to help and then watched 4 women come together with 10 children and turn a scary situation into resilience.


I sat with them, watched and listened. They told stories shared anecdotes. They chased after the crying, which would sometimes occur. I watched as at one time or another one of them would pause and they would go somewhere else. Their gaze told their story.


Today is my grandson’s christening and my son-in-law is home as well as Esther’s. I am home and as I write I am of the realization of the one constant in their neighborhood. It will be the one constant on Mother’s Day, as well. It will, as families move in and move out be the same constant, Army Wives. 


Happy Mothers Day!

Reporting from Kentucky

Willard N. Carpenter

Demelun@hotmail.com

Communications Executive Officer

Senior Editor / Pennsylvania







The Making of the Knights Templar 

Commemorative Coin

May 2018


I have been asked how I came up the idea for 900-year anniversary of the Knights Templar Commemorative Coin, so here it the story.


After becoming a part of the Order, I became aware that this year, 2018, was the 900-years anniversary since the Knights Templars officially came into existence. 


In around 1118, a French knight named Hugues de Payens founded a military order along with eight relatives and acquaintances, calling themselves the Poor Knights of the Temple of King Solomon. They later became known as the Knights Templar.


One evening while I was sitting at my desk at home working on an assignment for my Master’s program, with thoughts of the Templars floating around in my head, I found myself staring at some challenge coins laying on my desk. I thought to myself how cool it would be to have something like a challenge coin to commemorate the 900-year anniversary of the Knight Templar, and hence the idea was born. I ran the idea by Grand Commandant Carlson, who gave me the ‘thumbs up’ on the idea.


In designing the coin, I wanted it to be as historically correct as possible. I wanted the coin to incorporate all the ranks, symbols, and the motto of the Knights Templar. 


The back of the coin includes a brown backfield to represent the Companions at Arms, on the brown field are the Beausant, the Templar battle flag, and the double seal of the Knights Templar. The black ring around the brown represents the Sergeants at Arms. Within the black ring are the motto “NON NOBIS DOMINE, NON NOBIS, SED NOMINI TUO DA GLORIAM,” and a small cross Pattée at the top. 


The front of the coin has the white field and the cross Pattée to represent the knights of the Order, and a shield beneath the cross. The inscription on the front of the coin includes Knights Templar at the top, the dates 1118-2018, and 900 years. 


After the initial design, I floated the idea on the main Knights Templar page of the Order to see if there was any interest before production. I received plenty of interest from members of the Order, and some advice to fine tune the coin such as making the ends of the cross concave to represent a historically accurate cross, and making the Beausant vertical instead of horizontal, thank you Sir Zalner and Marshall Harris! The coins were also numbered to add some value since this is a once in a lifetime event, celebrating the 900 year anniversary of the Knights Templar.


The final steps before production included a professional design, which the minting company provided. An antique finish and beveled edges added to the allure of the coin.


The coin was initially made available to members of the OSMTJ-USA Templars, but has garnered interest from other Templars around the world. After the 2018 Investiture for the Priory of Saint Andrews, the coin will be made available to others on Amazon. The purpose for the design and production of the coin was to commemorate the history and continuing existence of the Knights Templar. See OSMTJ Network in this paper for Sales information

Reporting from South Carolina

Victor Reeves

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of St. Andrews







Project Hope

May 2018


2018 has been a great year so far for The Holy Cross Priory. 


On March 10th of this year Master Commander Alan Scarlett, Sir Thomas Taylor, Brother Brian Chrzanowski and future Squire Colton Taylor assisted in handing out care packages to those in need in and around Baltimore Maryland. 


The community service was to aid “Project Hope”. We plan to assist in the future again and hope to continue to assist on a regular basis as needed. The members handed out the care bags along with taking the time to talk with both men and women who were helped by the care bags. 


A total of 20 care bags were handed out along with other items such as blankets, coats, activity books and the occasional pack of cigarettes. Several members of The Holy Cross Priory are also attending Templar boot camp. Prior Mark Mace is leading this class online. This is a requirement that CAA’s must complete before being considered for Sergeant

Reporting from Baltimore, Maryland

Edward Baker

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of the Holy Cross

West Virginia and Maryland






FORDITE

May 2018


As you can see in the classified section. Pastor Matt from Michigan has a hobby. It is making jewelry. 50% of the profits go to three Christian organizations. Of the Jewelry he makes one of them is called Fordite. What is Fordite? Fordite is a rare stone like material made up of built up paint from automotive plants. It is cut down to shape sanded and polished, turned into jewelry. Whille he was down the last time I had the opportunity to help him cut (with wet saw) a large piece of Fordite. (Pictured). 

Reporting from Pennsylvania

Willard N. Carpenter

Demelun@hotmail.com

Communications Executive Officer

Senior Editor / Pennsylvania






BASH Show Choir Performs

May 2018


During  the late morning church service at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church the show choir of Boyertown Area Senior High performed for the parishioners during their service. 


8 April 2018, The show choir performed,


Fresh off their tour in Spain the choir has over the course of many decades performed for many churches throughout the area.


Bash and Trinity Evengelical Lutheran Church are in Pennsylvania Commandery of the Trinity.











Reporting from Pennsylvania

Willard N. Carpenter

Demelun@hotmail.com

Communications Executive Officer

Senior Editor / Pennsylvania







Church Cancelled

May 2018


East Tawas, Michigan: Spring is usually late in this part of Michigan. But this late snow fall with ice storm forced the cancellation of church services at Grace Lutheran Church here in East Tawas, Michigan this past sunday, 15 April. 


The cancellation is the first in seven years since the arrival of Pastor Matt. 


The following was the Facebook posting. 



ATTENTION!
Due to the extreme weather conditions and anticipated ice, Sunday Morning worship on April 15th is cancelled. If you wish to worship this week, please join us on Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM. Stay warm and stay safe!





























Meanwhile this am, outside the YMCA in  Menominee, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula, life teaches us that things can be harsher. 

Reporting from Michigan

Amanda Carpenter

Staff Writer / Tomorrows Voice

Pennsylvania Commandery of the Trinity

Michigan







The Humanity of the Apostles

April 2018


We’ve all heard the cliche “God uses cracked pots.”  Well, that may or may not be so. However HE does use real humans to do the work of the kingdom.


We hear often within the church that God used Moses even though he had a stutter, David even though he was little, and Ruth even though she was a bold woman in a Man’s world. But we often forget these were real people with faults, or we romanticize them into perfection since they were the people Jesus surrounded Himself with.


  • A hot head itching for a fight.

  • A man who would betray Him to the end of ultimate suffering and sacrifice.

  • A tax collector...the worst kind of person in the societal structure of Jesus’s day.

  • People who were not just with Christ in spirit as we are now, but in their imperfection, walked, talked, and ate with the very person of Christ, and still, as so many pastors have said to me, “They just didn’t get it.”


Let’s look first at the types of people chosen to be the first twelve. Matthew 4:18-22 shows the first four men called weren’t theological powerhouses nor were they awesomely bearded guitar playing young men with their finger on the pulse of cool. They were fishermen--stinky, swarthy, slovenly, callous-handed, fishermen, not the same apostles we later see in classical art.


At best they were Jewish men who feared God and could likely follow directions.

Then He made it worse…


In Matthew 9:9-13,  we get a tax collector. These weren’t just your standard IRS stuffed shirts on the other end of a telephone.  No, tax collectors at this time ranked pretty low on the totem pole of people you let into the house (likely just under the neighbor’s cat). They were considered betrayers of their own people. They got the same amount of “warm and fuzzy” then as the guy who sells drugs on a school yard now. Again...not standard Church Leadership.


But wait! Now enter the extremists. Simon, The Zealot, and Judas Iscariot. The Sicarii (Iscariot thought by some to refer to this group) were a splinter group of Jewish Zealots basically waiting for the Messiah to come and start a war against the Romans. They carried small daggers, waiting for the instruction to bump off someone to get the fight going. We seem to be missing this “virtue” in the beatitudes.


Even if this theory about Judas’s connection to the Sicarii can’t be fully backed up...Judas was still not top shelf church folk. John 12:3-6 has Judas stealing from the ministry of Jesus Himself. Then Judas really swings for the fences and betrays our LORD for 30 pieces of silver, a sum that with some research proves to equate to less than I got back on my tax return this year. Also this amount was the price of killing a servant according to The Law in Exodus 21:30-32


Now we get to Peter.

You know...pulled a knife on a cop...then stood in the synagogue courtyard cursing, and carrying on. Peter, in John 18:10.

You know, “On this Rock I will build My Church” Peter.


Ok. So I just described some fairly unsavory sort of people, and some might think “Hey… those are the Twelve Apostles you’re making a dig at!” 

They are US; sinners, recovering jerks, LESS THAN CHRISTLIKE.

They are God, showing us that not just does He use “cracked pots"; he can use the worst of us, and even things originally meant for harm. God will prevail.


Too often we look at the humanity of ourselves and let the adversary tell us, “God can’t use you. You screwed up too big this time, kid!” But the same Christ-denying, belligerent, spectacle in the church yard, through the power of God, becomes the foundation of The Holy Catholic Church/The Church Universal.

“You don’t have the right skills to work for the kingdom… You’re a janitor, a bus driver, not a pastor with a masters in divinity.” Jesus started with stinky, untrained fishermen. The call was first; the skills came after it.


Jesus used a bum like Matthew, a disgrace, and betrayer of his own kind, to work good for the Kingdom, saying, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’” For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners”  Matthew 9:12-13


Judas’s betrayal isn’t the end of the miracle of Easter…. It’s the middle. The horror and destruction of Friday grants us our salvation and makes us as humanity right with a holy and just God.


The hopelessness of Saturday is now often commemorated with prayer vigils, showing that when we as people can’t do anything else, we should pray to that holy and just God and wait upon The Lord.

Just like us, the Apostles felt like nothing was happening, just like we feel when we don’t see God moving, but Jesus says to us, “I was dead, but look, I am alive forevermore. I have the keys of Death and of hell.” Rev. 1:18


"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"  1 Cor 15:55


The power of Sunday morning, that empty tomb, and the Risen Christ… showing that God’s power has conquered Death and The Grave and is not bound by our mortality.


This is the banner we march under. We are Knights of THIS Christ, the Christ that knows our humanity, knows our flaws, and instead of sending us away in favor of someone “better,” tells us to put on the full armor of God. To all of us stinky, ill-equipped, hot-headed folks, even those of us with a sketchy past, the call is the same:

“Follow Me.”


I urge us all to keep this in mind as we extend the reach of our Most Holy Order here in Pennsylvania. We have chosen to take up the banner of Christ and join the fight. We do this not because we are the best and brightest of our church or because we always have it right. We join with our brothers and sisters because we all answered the call just as the first twelve that Christ Himself called to his side.


here to edit text

Reporting from Pennsylvania

Stephen McElroy

Staff Writer / National News
Pennsylvania Commandery of the Trinity
Pennsylvania







Persecuted Christians

March


Since I joined the Knights Templars or American KTOA, this topic has lay heavily on my heart: The persecution of Christians around the world. 


Christians are being persecuted in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America. 


This persecution takes many forms -- murder, rape, torture, repressive laws, social exclusion and discrimination. 


One of the things the KTOA supports is the Open Doors USA ministry, which advocates for persecuted Christians. I have gone to the Open Doors USA site, and this ministry touched my heart so I became a prayer partner for Open Doors USA. Another organization for which I am a prayer partner is The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM). 


As in the 11th century, our brother Templars protected the pilgrims going from the sea ports of Outremer to Jerusalem. Just as the Templars protected the pilgrims with sword and mace against robbers and Saracens, we, the spiritual heirs of the Knights Templar, use the mighty sword of prayer for persecuted Christians. 


I am proud to say that KTOA-Priory of HIS Coming Glory-Missouri, Kansas and Iowa have chosen each Friday to be a day of prayer for persecuted Christians as a whole group.  We encourage other Priories and Commanderies within the Knights Templar of America to select a day each week to make prayer for the persecuted church a priority in your meditations for that day.

Reporting from Missouri

Don Meader

Staff Writer / National News.

His Coming Glory

Missouri / Kansas







News from the Priory of St. Andrew / South Carolina

March


The New Year has started off with a bang and a boom!! This is an exciting time to be a member of the OSMTJ USA Order! This New Year brings changes to the order and the addition of new members. 


Between December 2017 and January 2018, the Priories of Saint Andrews and Saint Mark have seen a tremendous growth with the addition twenty-four new Companions At Arms in these two priories alone! It is exciting to see that the Priories of Saint Andrews and Saint Mark and rest of our order are growing! 


So why is this important? Because there is strength in numbers, a statement especially important to the war that we fight… the spiritual war that we, as Templars, fight on a daily basis.


The main weapon Templars use in this spiritual war is prayer along with the rest of The Armor of God outlined in Ephesians 6:10-20. Although there is no set biblical verse that says group prayer is more powerful than an individual’s prayers, James 5:26 (NIV) says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” The emphasis of this verse is “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective,” singular. 


Some will argue against this comment by quoting Matthew 18:19-20 which states, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” 


However, this is from a larger passage about dealing with sin within the church. Basically, the more members we have active in the order, the more support we can offer one another. Proverbs 27:17 states, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Growth is good, but it also presents certain challenges and growing pains.


On January 2, 2018, OSMTJ USA implemented the CAA Corps Basic Training platform, in which all existing and new Companions at Arm will participate. Later in the month of January, the same was implemented for the Sergeants. 


The mission of these training platforms is to provide training and continuity across the priories of the order so that all those affiliated with our organization are on the same page when it comes to requirements and training. This mission is encouraging because we can support each other and learn from each other through this academic platform of learning.


With the new additions to the order comes the responsibility for Sergeants to train and mentor the new Companions at Arms. The Mentors of the Priory of St Andrew's and St Mark's group saw the addition of one new mentor to its ranks, Sergeant Victor Reeves.


With growth also comes the opportunity for promotions. In the Priories of Saint Andrews and Saint Mark, we saw the promotion of Sir James Howard to Knights Commander of St Thomas; Knights Lieutenants Lady Cedria King and Sir Daron Whitehead were promoted to Knights Captains; Staff Sergeants Tony Huffmaster and Marty Hagood were promoted to First Sergeants; Sergeants Jay Jurcenko, Phillip Burd Jr., Emory Raines, John McCullen, and David E. Roth were promoted to Staff Sergeants; and Companion at Arms Todd Bourgeois was promoted to Sergeant. Congratulations again to everyone! (Apologies go out to any I may have missed. )


Moving forward, let us pray for the continued growth of our order here in the United States. These are trying and turbulent times we live in, and we need each other more than ever to support each other during difficult times in prayer and in communion.


The year 2018 marks the 900th year anniversary of the Knights Templar and the Knights Templar continue to endure and grow.


As a reminder, the Investiture in Ripley, Mississippi, will also be the National Conclave, for 2018. I want to encourage everyone to make an effort to attend at least one event this coming year. 


Attending an event brings it all together, the faces, the voices, the people, the mission, and the organization… the Knights Templar OSMTJ United States Grand Priory!


For the continued growth of our Priories and our Order… DEUS VULT!

Nōn nōbīs, Domine, nōn nōbīs, sed nōminī tuō dā glōriam

Reporting from South Carolina

Victor Reeves

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of St. Andrews

South Carolina







New Knights

March


On February 17, 2018, at Grace Episcopal Church in Keswick, Virginia, four members became knights.  Please congratulate Tony Woodard, Eric Bjerre, Chris Hios and Rob Woodfin.  


Rob Woodfin also has been named the Chaplain for the Priory.  Rayne Britt was knighted previously at National Conclave at Priestfield, West Virginia.  


St. Bartholomew would like to say thank you to Stephen Shutt, who gave three years of service as chaplain, and say we will miss you.   


The Priory of St. Bartholomew last year consisted of the Priory of Bartholomew and Commandery of Holy Cross.  The Priory represented Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, and West Virginia.  


It was a great victory for the Priory of St. Bartholomew that The Commandery of Holy Cross was promoted to an independent Priory because the move provided strong Christian leaders the opportunity to take leadership positions.  


The promotion after the National Conclave put the states of Maryland and West Virginia under the command of Holy Cross and the state of Virginia and Washington DC, under the command of Bartholomew.


Saturday, February 17, was a monumental day for the Priory of Bartholomew because the Investiture service promoted strong Sergeants-at-Arms who are ready to lead, and will provide the strong foundation of the newly restructured Priory for years to come.  Our Priory now has six knights and five progressing to knighthood.  

Reporting from Virginia

Mark Mace, Prior

Communications director

Priory of St. Bartholomew

Virginia / Washington D.C.







Greetings and Blessings from 

The Priory of St. Gabriel.

March


On January 20, 2018, the Priory of St. Gabriel was pleased to host our first Investiture of the year at a real castle. Known locally as Newman’s Castle located in Bellville, Texas, the investiture echoed with historical pomp and circumstance. 


Three new knights were promoted and a new Knights Commander was promoted.


Before the Investiture, service was extended to a local nursing home where members of St. Gabriel’s ranks visited with residents and shared cookies, coffee, songs and prayers to lighten spirits and bring companionship and fellowship, as brothers and sisters, to those who may not have many visitors.


Members then travelled a short distance to the castle for a tour and lunch. A demonstration of a working trebuchet and siege of the castle, led by Sir Trujillo’s fearless nine-year-old daughter, was enjoyed by all in attendance.


The Investiture took place in the Great Hall.  The new knights, promoted for their exemplary service, are Sir Shaun Hayes, Sir William Haire, and Sir Rick Trujillo. Prior Keith Menefee then extended an accolade and promotion to me, and I became the Knight’s Commander for the Priory.


After the Investiture, all guests were treated to appetizers and a medieval feast. The feast was prepared by my wife and me, and to our delight, was a smashing success,  featuring lamb shank, roast beef and roast pork, salad greens, and other delectable meats and cheeses.  A King’s feast would have seemed to lack in comparison, a challenge to prepare, but a pleasure to serve.  Fellowshipping followed the feast, and friendships were created, as this event was the first time many of us met face to face.    


The Priory has gone through some changes and growing pains, but with Prior Menefee at the helm, we will be stronger and continue to grow in the near future. We seem to be adding Companions-At-Arms at a quickening rate, adding tremendous quality Christians to the order.


Prior Menefee has also created the 12 in 12 initiative. This was a challenge to have each member host one service project in their local area for a chosen month. A member chooses a month to host a service project; this procedure will allow other members to attend and will benefit that member’s community. So far we are off to a successful start.


The Priory of St. Gabriel continues to grow and will continue to serve our Order as Friends, Companions, and Disciples of Christ.  May we all be continually blessed.


In the name of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Reporting from Texas

Kevin Dorsey, Knight Commander

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of St. Gabriel

Texas







The Praying Chair

February 


There is a simple green folding camp chair on a small barren patch of concrete that is the patio to my ground floor apartment.  Very simple in all of its ways. If one were to walk past it, the chair would not even warrant a second look.


This patch of concrete and simple chair have been the temple, chapel, confessional, and the tiniest of humble churches for me. In the evenings I will sit in the " praying chair" seeking to spend time in devotion and conversation with God. In this chair is where I learned to turn off the noise of the world, the distractions and endless chatter that assaults the mind: work, worries, TV, cell phone, internet and the rest of the white noise that prevents us from truly hearing what HE says to us in prayer.


The Praying Chair is the perfect place to strip away the edifice, the self-imposed barriers, the walls we put up during prayer built out of fear, fear of the true honesty we must have when opening our soul to its creator. To truly open myself in communication, knowing that trying to hide myself or my thoughts from God is pointless and self defeating and inevitably leads an unrewarding spiritual life.  The more time I spent in the Praying Chair, the easier and more open communication with God became. In these times, our friendship developed through talking and sharing my deepest hopes and fears. And other times we just enjoyed each other’s company, in my time spent with God.


James 4:8    Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.


This gift of love and friendship is on the table for everyone.


The death and resurrection of Christ cemented the new covenant. The curtain was torn.

And that is the greatest gift ever given--God's friendship


His Grace to us, through his Son, so that everyone with an open heart can have a personal relationship with Him, our heavenly Father, Creator, and through his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and moved by the blessed blowing winds of the Holy Spirit.


Everyone should find his or her own Praying Chair.

Reporting from Missouri

Doug Petersen

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of His Coming Glory

Kansas/Missouri







Helping Hands

February


The year 2017 was a great year for Holy Cross Priory. Holy Cross became a Priory in November with the appointment of Alan Scarlett as Master Commander for Maryland and West Virginia. We are now sixteen members strong with great hopes for growth in 2018.


This past October, five of our members attended the National Conclave at Priestfield, West Virginia. Sergeant Thomas Taylor was knighted, and Don Thompson and Bob Zalner were elevated to the rank of Knight-Lieutenant. Sir Don was appointed as Seneschal for Holy Cross, and Sir Bob as Marshall.


The charity event at the conclave benefitted Jefferson County Community Ministries, which serves over 1,000 needy families in West Virginia’s eastern  panhandle. Conclave participants went grocery shopping and delivered over 2300 pounds of groceries, valued at $3,000. plus another $3,000 in a check  to the center. It was a splendid event that allowed us all to help others in the name of Jesus Christ.


Holy Cross- eleven knights and five companion at arms strong – is ready for the new year and eager to fulfill our Lord’s will!

Reporting from West Virginia

Edward Baker

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of the Holy Cross

West Virginia and Maryland







Eyes Of The Seeking Child

February


As I look at the year’s events pass and the start of a new one, I too, like many of you, take stock.


I see how far we have come, and I notice many things never change.

At times I miss my Sunday school teacher, my uncle, and my mentor, Robert Davalos who passed away six years ago and sits with our Father waiting.  He would show a room full for teen-aged boys what God’s grace and a little faith would do.  And, yes, he had his faults, but he was amongst the most patient and kindest people I was ever graced to have met. He told me that without faith, we are incomplete.


So now I take stock of the battles- the wins, the losses, and the draws. But today I ask you not to take pity or sorrow. Instead, I entreat you all to celebrate my scars and your scars. Stand with me at the feast, and toast the sweet victories, hard losses, the bitter lumps, and the nights that made you need something on which to lean. We lean on the only thing that matters- Faith. As we all know, faith starts small. It’s hard to kill. Faith is like water, and nothing can withstand the force of water. Faith is our armor, the fuel of our fire, and the force of our zeal.


I entreat you to hear with your heart. This year has humbled me above most.  From a loss of a pregnancy to the small cry of a child seeking answers that you cannot provide to the nights that cause tossing and turning. But don’t fret; celebrate with me. Celebrate the faith that pulled me through when I fell short. Rejoice because I tempered my armor in hell’s fires. When you trust in God and believe, there is nothing that cannot be accomplished. When the final call is made and we all sit that the supper of our Father, we will all look upon our armor. Why, you ask? Because it will be dented, mashed, cracked, bent and twisted. We put our armor/faith to the test.  But above all, we did as our Father asked of us. We believe, we keep the faith, we show others what we are. Give praise that you were able to test your faith. Give glory to the Almighty because we stood back up.


In all of Christendom, we the few who have heard a call have taken our vows. We must SHOW the path. We must be humble and kind. Be proud but not arrogant. Humility must be our cloak. We must guide our houses, and keep our families and clans together. We must defend the faith. As the Order is given another year of life, we must do our best. Even when we fail, his grace will be sufficient. He is faithful to us, and grants us refuge. But above all- stand back up. Make proud those who taught you. Through these virtues, our teachers are blessed by our performance.

As we start this year, hold fast your faith, hold tight your families.

Castro Hawk 

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of New England




National News

News from around the Nation regarding what is occurring within its churches and its faithful.

Castro Hawk

Staff Writer / National News


Castro is a member of the Priory of New England

Michele Carpenter

Managing editor

Aside from being the managing editor for the Templar news paper, Michele is also a nursing instructor in Pennsylvania.