Five locals pledge to serve the Lord in the sick and poor

Joshua and Lindsey Bachman are pictured following their investiture into the the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta in Washington, D.C.  Locals Stephen Minnis, Michael O’Shaughnessy, and Doug Rivard were also invested into the order. (Photo courtesy of Lindsey Bachman)

By Sara Kraft

ST. JOSEPH – “I had the same feeling I had when I converted to Catholicism, the feeling of now being part of something greater than myself,” explained lawyer Joshua Bachman. “When I became Catholic, there was a bigger entity that was calling the shots. There’s a comfort and joy in that. Through the Knights of Malta, I have a room within the mansion to carry out my calling as a Catholic.”

Recently, Joshua Bachman and wife Lindsey, along with Stephen Minnis, Michael O’Shaughnessy, and Doug Rivard were invested into the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta (known as the Order of Malta for short). The Bachmans, Michael O’Shaughnessy, and Doug Rivard’s investiture into the Order was held in Washington, D.C. on October 21 with a Mass including at least fifteen bishops and the papal nuncio.

The Order of Malta is a lay religious order of the Catholic Church with approximately 13,500 Knights and Dames located throughout the globe. The Order of Malta dates back to around 1048. It was founded as a religious and military order to help sick and injured pilgrims to the Holy Land. As a lay religious order, members pledge to obey the laws of the church, defend the faith, and serve our Lord in the sick and the poor. Although its roots are ancient, the Order of Malta continues to live this pledge in our modern world.

“My desire to join the Order was due to both an interest in history and desire to provide ‘hands on’ service to the poor and the sick,” explained Visitation parishioner Michael O’Shaughnessy, in-house legal counsel at Sprint. “I was always interested in the history of the Church and Medieval times – fascinated, in particular, with the knights and orders during the Crusades in their defense of the Faith and service to its members. The Order is different in its focus on serving the poor and the sick and as a spiritual home for its members.”

Each region of the Order of Malta has its own ministries that it serves. Two regions exist in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph – the St. Joseph region and a greater Kansas City region, which also includes members from the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas. Between the two chapters, there are approximately 60 Knights, Dames, and chaplains who serve in over a dozen ministries including the Duchesne Clinic, Shalom House, Prison Ministry, Christmas in October, Little Sisters of the Poor, the Haven in St. Joseph and the Bishop Sullivan Center Food Kitchen. Recently, an Order of Malta Federal Association grant check for $23,107 was awarded to Community Missions Corporation in St. Joseph for improvements to help serve the chronically homeless.

The order has three international projects. Participation in a pilgrimage to Lourdes during which several thousand very sick “maladies” enjoy a week of intense prayer and fellowship is requested of each Knight and Dame in their first three years of investiture. Additionally, the order operates the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem, a maternity hospital that serves women of all faiths, and Malteser International, a humanitarian relief organization serving disaster victims all around the world.

“About the time we were asked to check out the order, we were discerning specifically how we could help the poor like Jesus asked us,” explained Lindsey. “Caring for the poor needs to be a central part of our lives. This order addresses that call.”

In addition to practicing the corporal works of mercy, the Knights and Dames are quick to credit the Order of Malta with transforming their spiritual lives.

“The Knights focus on service to the poor and the sick is not just one of service but of prayer as well,” added Michael. “Though such prayer and service is not, for lack of a better phrase, ‘parish bound,’ I readily acknowledge that since beginning my spiritual journey with the Order I have become much more involved in my parish spiritual activities, including serving as a Eucharistic Minister and participating in retreats.”

“The order is a helpful construct to do more on a daily basis. It strengthened my relationship with Jesus through daily prayer and helped me to have a higher expectation of myself,” explained pediatric radiologist Dr. Doug Rivard.

The order has a daily prayer the Knights and Dames are encouraged to pray. “The charism of the order is pilgrimage,” explained Joshua. He added it encompasses not just the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, but is expanded to include the pilgrimage to sainthood.

“I appreciate the mission of Malta to defend the faith and serve the poor,” explained Stephen Minnis, President of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Stephen is a St. Joseph, Missouri native and alum of St. Francis Xavier School and Bishop LeBlond High School. “This mission touched my heart and I believed it was consistent with my mission and what we are doing at Benedictine College too. In my short time with the members of the Knights of Malta, I have been moved by the sincerity of its members and am honored to be a part of this historical order in the Church.”

All five new Knights and Dames look forward to continuing to serve the Our Lord through the sick and poor.




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November 01, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph