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IX Conference of the Americas of the Order of Malta opens in Panama



The IX Conference of the Americas opens on 28 February in Panama, bringing together all the presidents of the National Associations and representatives of the Order of Malta’s diplomatic missions present on the two American subcontinents.

Presided over by Fra’ John Dunlap, the first Grand Master of North American origin in the Order of Malta’s almost thousand-year history, all the High Offices of the Government will be present at the Panama conference: Grand Commander Fra’ Emmanuel Rousseau, Grand Chancellor Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, the Grand Hospitaller Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis and the Receiver of the Common Treasure, Fabrizio Colonna, accompanied by the Cardinal Patron Gianfranco Ghirlanda, by the Prelate of the Order of Malta, Monsignor Luis Manuel Cuña Ramos and other members of the Sovereign Council.

Entitled “Engaging in Faith, creating dynamic alliances in the service of the most vulnerable”, the conference has been organized by the Panamanian Association and the Order of Malta’s embassy to the Republic of Panama. Some 120 delegates will be attending, representing 25 National Associations and Sub-Priories, from as many countries of the Americas, as well as delegates from Italy, Spain and Portugal. There will also be representatives of IILA, the Italian-Latin American Organization and “Food for the Poor”, an NGO that operates in Latin American countries, the Order of Malta’s partner in various humanitarian activities. Precisely “food”, or rather the scarcity of food, as well as the difficulties humanitarian workers have in raising funds and bringing aid to the poorest and the neediest, will be some of the issues addressed during the four days of the conference, from 28 February to 2 March.

The wide-ranging conference agenda includes the inauguration of the “Casa Orden de Malta”, a renovated former convent where the Panamanian Association runs a physiotherapy centre for disabled children, and the consecration in the Basilica of Santa Maria de la Antigua de Panamà, of an altar dedicated to the Order of Malta containing a relic of Blessed Gerard.

Finally, on 2 March, a Mass for Peace will be celebrated in the Cathedral, during which there will be the investiture of five new members of the Order of Malta, including three women.

The last Conference of the Americas took place in 2011 in Peru, followed in 2016 by a Mesoamerica Conference in Panama.

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta - Canadian Association

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