Conferred “soldiers of Christ” by Cardinal Dolan, 120 Catholic men and women were recently invested as Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem’s Eastern Lieutenancy of the United States.
Ninety-seven knights and ladies were also promoted in rank at the Nov. 23 investiture Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Cardinal Dolan, grand prior of the order’s Eastern Lieutenancy, served as principal celebrant and homilist. Cardinal Egan, the grand prior of honor, concelebrated the liturgy.
The Holy Sepulchre order is dedicated to supporting the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and responding to the needs of Catholics in the Holy Land.
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem dates to the 11th century, when its members were charged with safeguarding the tomb of Christ and providing assistance to pilgrims. Today, the order’s members aid Catholics in the Holy Land by raising funds for seminaries, schools, hospitals and orphanages.
In his homily, the cardinal outlined the multiple meanings of the word Jerusalem.
“We (knights and ladies of the Holy Sepulchre) bear the holy cross of Jerusalem,” he said. “In our Catholic lexicon, drawn from the fathers of the Church and the saints of our Church, Jerusalem is the city in Israel.
“The city of Jerusalem, we love her and we long to go on pilgrimages to her, we pray and work for the peace in Jerusalem and we are committed to protect her sacred places and her faithful peoples’ freedom so that all that cherish her can live there in concord.”
The cardinal also drew a parallel between the earthly Jerusalem and heaven. “Our motivation in being knights and ladies of the Holy Sepulchre is to get to heaven,” he said.
Referencing Chapter 25 of Matthew’s Gospel, Cardinal Dolan reminded the assembly that all await an accounting from the Lord. “After all is said and done, this is what it’s all about. ‘When I was hungry, did you feed me? When I was thirsty, did you give me to drink? When I was naked, did you clothe me?’”
During the Rite of Investiture, candidates approached the altar as their names were individually called. After Cardinal Dolan traced the sign of the cross on the their forehead, each knight and lady received the Jerusalem Cross, the order’s insignia.
The knights and ladies were cloaked in the order’s traditional garments. The men wore white robes which were emblazoned with the Cross of Godfrey. The women wore black dresses accessorized with a black veil and Cross Potent.
The Eastern Lieutenancy encompasses New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Msgr. Thomas E. Gilleece, pastor of St. John and St. Mary parish in Chappaqua, is chancellor of the Eastern Lieutenancy, and Raymond C. Teatum is lieutenant.
The new members invested from the archdiocese included Brother Brian Carty, F.S.C., president of De LaSalle Academy, Manhattan, who holds the rank of Knight Commander With Star.
Two priest knights from the archdiocese were invested: Msgr. Edward J. Weber, director of priest personnel, and Father Jacek P. Wozny, pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka parish, Staten Island.
New knights from the archdiocese were John J. Catalano of Pelham; Kevin J. Rooney of Pelham; Edward M. Short of Astoria; and Michael J. Woolfolk of Manhattan.
New ladies from the archdiocese were Lucy Ann M. Caruso and Stacey D. Hodge, both of the Bronx.
Promoted to Priest Knight Commander were Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo, chancellor of the archdiocese; Msgr. Dennis Keane, pastor of Annunciation parish, Crestwood; Msgr. Kenneth Smith, pastor of St. Catherine of Genoa, Manhattan; and Father Eric P. Cruz, Catholic Charities director for the Bronx.
Also, Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn who is rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, was promoted to Priest Knight Commander.
Promoted to Knight Commander were George T. Erbe of New Rochelle; Kevin J. Healy of Babylon; and Robert E. Pedersen of Manhattan.
Promoted to Lady Commander was Florence L. Erbe of New Rochelle.
Promoted to Knight Commander With Star was Jeffrey K. Downey of Manhattan.
Promoted to Lady Commander With Star were Mary A. Dirrane, Victoria L. Downey and Norma V. Marshburn, all of Manhattan.
Promoted to Knight Grand Cross were Vito J. DeSantis of Manhattan; Anthony M. Servidio of Bronxville; and George van Setter of Scarsdale.
Promoted to Lady Grand Cross was Carla A. Harris of Manhattan.
The evening of the investiture, 1,000 guests attended a banquet in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.