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US Cardinal invests new knights and dames of the Equestrian Order


Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien was the Guest of Honour in Perth last weekend to invest the Order’s newest recruits. Photo: Ron Tan.

By Matthew Lau

Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, made a rare appearance in Perth last weekend where he invested 10 new members into the Order.

The newly elected include Archdiocese of Perth priests Fr Conor Steadman and Fr Mariusz Grzech.

A special Palm of Jerusalem honour was conferred to Clifford Holloway KGCHS, OAM – who is only the second person in Australia to receive this prestigious honour, the other being Archbishop Emeritus Barry Hickey.

Mr Holloway started the Order in WA as a section of England Lieutenancy; he was the first Australian Lieutenant in 1985.

Cardinal O’Brien presided the Investiture Ceremony and Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral on 2 September with concelebrants Mgr Michael Cheah KCHS, Fr Richard Smith KCHS, Fr Don Kettle KHS, and Fr Nicholas Nweke KHS

The Grand Master knighted Western Australians Giles D’Abreo, Alan Buckley, and vested Dame Tina D’Orsogna; along with Diocese of Penang members Andre TC Eu, Juliana HL Liew, Grace CY Low, and Cecilia LC See.

Promotions were handed to Roland Alexander, Sean Fox-Slater, John Pintabona, Kevin Susai, and Rosa Tognela.


"Deus lo vult" is the motto of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre (1824). Photo: Ron Tan.

In his homily, the former Archbishop of Baltimore reminded the Knights and Dames of the role which they should play in the Order.

“How many members of our Order have flocked to pilgrimage to Jerusalem under the banner of the risen Christ before the Holy Sepulchre?” he asked the congregation.

“I know that most of you have done so over recent years, and all of today’s investees will continue to do so for years ahead.

“Yes, pilgrimage offers us beautiful blessings, but also gives us the opportunity to give prayer of thanks for the roots of our faith in Jerusalem. Roots so richly planted in the sacred soil of the Holy Sepulchre,” he said.

“May Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, be the centre of your life and each of your personal projects. Amen.”

His Eminence, Cardinal O’Brien, met Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB at Griver House on 3 September.

Lieutenant Jack Gardner KC*HS told The eRecord that the prerequisites required for candidates to be considered to join the Equestrian Order are simple: be faithful and active Catholics.

“We encourage our members to make pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre as opposed to just the Holy Land,” he said.

“It is a great honour to have the Grand Master himself, the representative of the Pope. Last time we had him was 2013.”


Knights and Dames of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem on Sunday 2 September at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Ron Tan.

On 3 August 2018, the Order of the Holy Sepulchre celebrated 130 years of women’s presence in the Order.

During which, Dames have contributed as an active part of the life of the Pontifical Institution – which is mainly comprised of lay faithful – and in current times represent one-third of the Order’s membership.

The investitures of new Knights in Jerusalem continued to be awarded by the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land until 1847 when Pope Pius IX reconstituted the Latin Patriarchate and entrusted the Order with the task of supporting it. St Pius X was the first Grand Master, which since 1947 has always been led by a Cardinal.