Evening honors Knights, Dames and volunteers

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ATCO — On Oct. 23, the feast of their patron, Christ the Redeemer Parish here celebrated a closing liturgy for their 40 hours parish event. As well, they hosted the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem to celebrate the vigil of Our Lady of Palestine, the patroness of the order and protector of the Holy Land. 

Members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem pose for a photo on Oct. 23 at Christ the Redeemer Parish in Atco after celebrating the vigil of Our Lady of Palestine, the patroness of the order and protector of the Holy Land. Photo by Peter G. Sánchez

Earlier this month, Father Chris Mann, pastor of Christ the Redeemer, was installed as a Knight Chaplain of the Equestrian Order at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. At the same ceremony, Sir Christopher W. Simonetti was promoted to the rank of Knight Commander. Bishop Dennis Sullivan was in attendance.

After the Mass in Atco, Father Mann thanked his hardworking faithful with a volunteer appreciation reception.

As one of the oldest and most historic Chivalric Orders of the Roman Catholic Church, the Equestrian Order’s beginnings date from the time of the First Crusade in 1099, when Godfrey de Bouillon reclaimed Jerusalem and the Holy Lands from the Turks and established a guard of honor to protect one of the region’s most sacred sites, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Its primary mission is to reinforce the practice of Christian life by its members in absolute fidelity to the pope, and to sustain and assist the religious, spiritual, charitable and social works and rights of the Catholic Church and the Christians in the Holy Land, particularly of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Currently there are 57 Knights and Dames of various ranks in the Diocese of Camden, who participate in diocesan ceremonies, and support charitable works throughout the diocese.

Msgr. Louis Marucci, pastor of Saint Andrew the Apostole Parish, Gibbsboro, serves as the diocesan coordinator of the Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.