For the first time in history, the five Canadian Lieutenancies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem gathered in Montreal on Sunday September 29, 2019 for a National Investiture. On this occasion thirty six Knights and Dames were invested. The ceremony was presided by His Eminence Edwin Cardinal O'Brien, Grand Master of the Order at the Cathedral Basilica of Mary Queen of the World, a replica of Saint Peter’s Basilica of the Vatican State but a quarter of its size.
Also present: our Pro-Grand Prior, His Excellency Most Reverend Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Titular Archbishop of Verbe and Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and the Grand Priors of three Lieutenancies of Canada, His Eminence Christopher Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto and Grand Prior of the Canada-Toronto Lieutenancy, His Excellency Most Rev. Christian Lépine, Archbishop of Montreal and Grand Prior of the Canada-Montreal Lieutenancy and His Excellency Anthony Mancini, Archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth and Grand Prior of the Canada Halifax Lieutenancy.
The Vice Governor General for North America, H.E. Thomas Pogge was pleased with the success of this event and warmly thanked the organizers of the Canada-Montreal Lieutenancy. He was pleased with the presence of more than 180 Knights and Dames, Lieutenants and Priors, Bishops, members and Lieutenants from the United States, as well as many friends and supporters of the Order.
The kick-off event for the Investiture weekend was a Benefit-Concert which took place on Friday evening, September 27, 2019. The profits will be donated to the works of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. This concert of sacred songs featured internationally renowned Canadian soprano Natalie Choquette. This was also held in the magnificent Cathedral Basilica of Mary Queen of the World where the Sunday Investiture ceremony took place.
On Saturday, September 28, the Promotions and Vigil ceremony took place at Saint Joseph's Oratory, the largest shrine dedicated to Saint Joseph in the world founded by the Canadian Saint Brother André. It was at this ceremony that future investees were able to pray more deeply about the meaning of their promise and commitment to support our mother Church in the Holy Land. This was followed by a conference given by our Pro Grand Prior, His Exc. Msgr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa on the status of the christians in the Holy Land and the daily challenges facing them.
On Sunday morning, September 29, the Vice Governor General for North America, H.E. Sir Thomas Pogge, presented the projects of the Order in the Holy Land, and spoke of the future prospects and projects for all the Lieutenancies of Canada and the United States and how the main focus of the Order should be to support education in the schools of the LPJ as well as pastoral projects. The Lieutenants of Canada as well as the members of the organizing committee of the Canada-Montreal Lieutenancy were very pleased with the success of this great Canadian première.