A 900-Year Commitment to Serving the Poor and the Sick
Europe’s feudal system in the middle ages demanded absolute loyalty and zealous service to one’s lord. The Order’s founder, Blessed Gerard, applied this principle to the Order’s members, who came exclusively from the noble families of Europe. Every member, himself a lord in the secular world, upon becoming invested in the Order took an oath to serve the poor and the sick as his lord. Throughout the centuries, invested members of the Order have taken the same oath. They continue to do so today.
Members working in community to provide hands-on hospitality to the poor and sick is at the heart of the Order of Malta. The Western Association is a vibrant community dedicated to highly engaged service to the poor and sick within their local communities. The Western Association’s approximately 800 members, provisional members, chaplains, and scores of Auxiliary members devote roughly 25,000 hours of hands-on volunteer work to Western Association-supported projects.
The Western Association’s Hospitaller Committee, is responsible for coordinating the Western Association’s service to the poor and sick. Each Western Association-sponsored or assisted project has a coordinator responsible for volunteer activities through that project.
The Western Association’s Order of Malta Free Clinics
Since its formation in the middle part of the eleventh century, the Order has provided medical and humanitarian services to those in need. Between the eleventh through eighteenth centuries, the Order’s hospitals, first in Jerusalem and later on the islands of Rhodes and Malta, were responsible for significant developments in the field of health care. Today, the Order continues its commitment to providing medical assistance to those in need in different parts of the world, including Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem and CRUDEM Hospital in Haiti. Additionally, the Western Association has free medical clinics in Los Angeles and Oakland, California, as well as a mental health clinic in Seattle for the poor and uninsured.
The Western Association’s Order of Malta Parish Nurse Programs
The Western Association operates Parish Nurse Programs through which a registered nurse and member of the Order visit the elderly homebound in various parishes in Orange County, Phoenix and San Francisco.
Other Programs Supported by the Western Association
The Western Association also provides financial and volunteer support to over 55 organizations serving the poor and the sick in the western United States. The Western Association’s projects include preparing and serving meals to the homeless, providing shelters and transitional housing to the homeless, assisting expectant mothers during their pregnancies, assisting mothers and their newborns, caring for the elderly, counseling, and training for troubled youths.
The areas where we serve are:
Los Angeles, CA
Orange County, CA
San Jose, CA