Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre
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Southeastern Lieutenancy
of the United States of America

History
(1986-1996)1

The Southeastern Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem came into being in 1986 when it was decreed by the Grand Magisterium in Rome that the Southern Lieutenancy was to be divided into two separate lieutenancies. At the final banquet of the Southern Lieutenancy held in Corpus Christi, Texas, Sir F. Russell Kendall, Knight of the Collar, Vice Governor General of the Order, announced that the new Southeastern Lieutenancy was to be made up of the States of Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and the Diocese of the Virgin Islands, which is a suffragan to Washington.

Sir Clayton J. Charbonnet, KGCHS, of New Orleans, who had been Lieutenant of the Southern Lieutenancy, was named Lieutenant of the new Southeastern Lieutenancy. The Most Rev. Stanley J. Ott, Bishop of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who had been Grand Prior of the Southern Lieutenancy, was appointed to fill the same post for the Southeastern Lieutenancy. The new lieutenancy started its existence with a total of 694 Confreres and Consoeurs domiciled in 10 states, plus the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

Sir F. Russell Kendall pointed out that the Lieutenancy occupied a unique place in the Order, when he said: "With ten states and part of an eleventh state, together with our nation's capital, you have a vast territory, most of which has been traditionally known throughout the world as 'The Deep South'. This area offers great potential and a serious challenge to each of you." The area of the new lieutenancy includes sections of the nation in which the Protestant tradition is strong, and where Catholics are few. Catholics are most numerous in Louisiana and Florida, each of which contains seven Dioceses. Each of the other states, except South Carolina have only two Dioceses, while South Carolina has only one.

The Southeastern Lieutenancy held its first meeting and investiture on September 26-27, 1987 in Pensacola, Florida. There were almost 600 Knights and Ladies attending, including 110 investees. Among the dignitaries present were the Most Reverend Archbishop Pio Laghi, the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in the United States and himself a Knight of the Lieutenancy, the Vice Governor General, Sir F. Russell Kendall of Houston, Texas, and 18 bishops. Three of the Bishops were invested into the Order: the Most Rev. John C. Favalora, Bishop of Alexandria, Louisiana, the Most Rev. Sean O'Malley, OFMC, former Bishop of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, and the Most Rev. Harry Flynn, at that time Bishop Coadjutor of Lafayette, Louisiana.

The weekend program began with a Memorial Mass dedicated to the five Knights and Ladies who died during the previous year, including the Most Rev. Joseph G. Vath, Bishop of Birmingham, Alabama. The Most Reverend James Cardinal Hickey, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., was the homilist at the Memorial Mass. He pointed out that Knights and Ladies should be proud of the Order's ancient past, but that a new Crusade was needed in the present to insure that all who live in the Holy Land do so with peace and dignity.

Archbishop Laghi was the speaker at the first annual banquet of the Lieutenancy, and called upon all Knights and Ladies to redouble their efforts in support of Catholicism in the Near East and asked them to work for peace in the region. Sir Bernard J. Ficarra, KGCHS, was awarded the Silver Palm of Jerusalem. At the end of the program, Lieutenant Charbonnet announced that the total Confreres and Consoeurs in the Lieutenancy, including the 1987 investees, were at 363 Lay Knights, 364 Ladies and 77 Clergy Knights, for a total of 804. At the end of 1989, the Lieutenancy had a total of 837 lay people and 212 clergy, of which 30 were bishops.

At the end of the 1990 Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Lieutenancy, held in Washington, D.C., Sir Clayton Charbonnet announced his retirement. The Cardinal Grand Master, His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Caprio, announced the appointment of Sir George H. Toye, KGCHS, as the new Lieutenant. Investees at the Investiture numbered 97 lay persons and 28 clergy including 7 bishops. Total Confreres and Consoeurs numbered 1,090 of which 933 were lay persons and 157 were clergy including 39 bishops. This surge in numbers was a great tribute to the leadership of Sir Clayton Charbonnet.

The first meeting of the Southeastern Lieutenancy under Lieutenant George H. Toye was held in Louisiana on October 26 and 27 of 1991. The Host Bishop was H.E. Most Reverend Harry Flynn, KC*HS, Bishop of Lafayette. The general chairpersons were Sir J. Dan Bouligny, Section Representative for the Diocese of Lafayette and his wife, Lady Jacqueline Bouligny. The Lieutenancy was privileged to invest H.E. Most Reverend Edward A. McCarthy, Archbishop of Miami, Florida along with fourteen priests, one deacon and one hundred and fifteen Knights and Ladies. H.E. Clayton Charbonnet was named Lieutenant of Honor by the Grand Master, His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Caprio. Upon the request of the Lieutenant, H.E. George H. Toye, the Grand Master conferred the Gold Palm of Jerusalem upon the Grand Prior of the Lieutenancy, Most Reverend Stanley J. Ott, KC*HS, and upon H.E. Clayton Charbonnet, KGCHS, in recognition for outstanding service to the Order and to the Church in the Holy Land. The Lieutenant read the letter of appointment while outlining the services and accomplishments of the honorees. Celebrating the first meeting of the Lieutenancy under Lieutenant Toye was the late Most Reverend Peter Canisius van Lierde of Rome, Vicar General Emeritus to Pope John Paul II, and 18 other archbishops and bishops. The strength of the Lieutenancy stood at 1201 Knights and Ladies. The principle speaker at the Sunday evening banquet was the Most Reverend Stanley J. Ott, KC*HS, Grand Prior.

In November of 1991, the Most Reverend Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, visited New Orleans and was received at a Mass, reception, and dinner by the Knights and Ladies of the New Orleans Diocese. The plea of the Patriarch was for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.

The second meeting of the Southeastern Lieutenancy was held in Naples (Diocese of Venice), Florida on September 12 and 13, 1992 and had as the Host Bishop, H.E. Most Reverend John Nevins, KC*HS. Sir WIlliam E. Ball and Lady Alma Ball were General Chairpersons of the weekend. The annual souvenir booklet received by all of the Knights and Ladies featured a brilliant picture of a painting of Sir Godfrey de Bouillon, Advocatus Sancti Sepulchre, painted by Jeronimo de Espinosa (1600-1680) of the Spanish School and containing a writing relative to Sir Godfrey.

The Lieutenancy was privileged to invest Most Reverend Raymond Lessard, Bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia, and Most Reverend James Lyke, Archbishop of Atlanta, 17 priests and 75 Knights and Ladies. The Sunday evening banquet had as the principle speaker, the Most Reverend Oscar Lipscomb, Archbishop of Mobile. It was announced that weekend the Lieutenancy would sponsor a pilgrimage to Jerusalem led by the Lieutenant, H.E. George Toye and under the guide of Reverend Godfrey Kloetzle of the Terra Sancta College of Jerusalem. The pilgrims would also spend four days in Rome and would attend the audience of Pope John Paul II. Also announced was the strength of the Lieutenancy which then stood at 1292 Knights and ladies.

On April 27, 1992 H.E. George H. Toye, Lieutenant of the Southeastern Lieutenancy, made a request of the Grand Magisterium of the Order through a letter to H.E. Count ludovico Carducci Artenisio, that the Grand Cross of Merit with Gold Star be presented to The Honorable James A. Baker, III, Secretary of State of the United States of America in recognition of the vast efforts he made for the cause of peace throughout the world, and more particular, in the area of the Middle East that is known as the "Holy Land" and the Apostolate of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

The request was granted and the presentation was made on September 23 by the Cardinal Grand Master of the Order, His Eminence Guiseppe Cardinal Caprio at a reception at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C. Present at the reception were His Eminence Guiseppe Cardinal Caprio, Most Reverend Agostino Cacciavillan, KC*HS, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio; H.E. Count Ludovico Carducci Artenisio, the Governor General of the Order, and Countess Rheine Artenisio; H.E. F. Russell Kendall, Vice Governor General of the Order and Lady Anne Kendall; H.E. Norman MacNeil, Lieutenant of the Northeastern Lieutenancy and Lady Phyllis MacNeil; H.E. Andrew J. Layden, Lieutenant of the Southwestern Lieutenancy and Lady Alberta Layden; H.E. Matthew Lamb, Lieutenant of the North Central Lieutenancy and Lady Rose Lamb; H.E. George H. Toye, Lieutenant of the Southeastern Lieutenancy and lady Leontine Toye; Mrs. Susan Baker, their children and staff.

The Lieutenancy suffered a serious loss that year with the death of the Grand Prior, H.E. Most Reverend Stanley J. Ott, KC*HS, Bishop of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Saturday, November 28. Bishop Ott was appointed Grand Prior of the Southern Lieutenancy in 1984 when Bishop John Cassata of Fort Worth announced his retirement. When the Southern Lieutenancy was split into the Southeastern and Southwestern Lieutenancies in 1986, Bishop Ott remained the Grand Prior of the Southeastern Lieutenancy. One of his first official acts was to preside at the Annual Meeting and Investiture in Lafayette, Louisiana. At the request of the Lieutenant, the Grand Magisterium appointed H.E. Most Reverend Francis Bible Schulte, Archbishop of New Orleans, as the new Grand Prior.

At this time in its history, the Southeastern Lieutenancy was privileged to have in its hierarchy, His Eminence James Cardinal Hickey, KGCHS, Archbishop of Washington; Most Reverend Agostino Cacciavillan, KC*HS, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to the United States of America; along with 7 Archbishops and 33 Bishops.

The third meeting of the Lieutenancy, held in New Orleans on September 18 and 19, 1993 was preceded by a mini-consulta and attended by H.E. Count Ludovico Carducci Artenisio, the Governor General of the Order and Knight of the Collar; H.E. F. Russell Kendall, Vice Governor General and Knight of the Collar; H.E. Alfred J. Blasco, Member of the Grand Magisterium and Knight of the Collar; H.E. George H. Toye, KGCHS, Lieutenant of the Southeastern Lieutenancy; H.E. Anthony Adducci, KGCHS, Lieutenant of the Northern Lieutenancy; H.E. Andrew J. Layden, KGCHS, Lieutenant of the Southwestern Lieutenancy; H.E. Martin J. Moran, KGCHS, Lieutenant of the Eastern Lieutenancy; H.E. Matthew E. Lamb, KGCHS, Lieutenant of the North Central Lieutenancy; H.E. George Zorn, KGCHS, Lieutenant of the Western Lieutenancy; H.E. Norman E. MacNeil, KGCHS, Lieutenant of the Northeastern Lieutenancy; H.E. Luis Sala, KGCHS, Lieutenant of Puerto Rico; H.E. Ricardo Triana Uribe, KGCHS, Lieutenant of Bogota, Colombia; H.E. William B. Guyol, KGCHS, Lieutenant Elect of the Northern Lieutenancy; H.E. Bernard J. Ficarra, KGCHS, Lieutenant Elect of the Middle Atlantic Lieutenancy; and, H.E. Clayton Charbonnet, KGCHS, Lieutenant of Honor of the Southeastern Lieutenancy. This third meeting had as the Host Bishop the new Grand Prior of the Lieutenancy, H.E. Most Reverend Francis B. Schulte, Archbishop of New Orleans.

The Investiture was held in the Basilica-Cathedral of St. Louis, King of France. The Lieutenancy was privileged to invest H.E. Most Reverend Michael Jarrell, Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux; H.E. Most Reverend Edward O. Kmiec, Bishop of Nashville, Tennessee; H.E. Most Reverend Robert W. Muench, Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans; H.E. Most Reverend Dominic Carmon, Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans; 20 priests and 70 Knights and Ladies. The strength of the Lieutenancy was then numbered at 1363. The Gold Palm of Jerusalem was presented to our Ecclesiastical Master of Ceremonies, Reverend Monsignor Elmo Romogosa, KCHS, for his many years of service to the Order and devotion to our Apostolate.

At the white-tie banquet that Sunday evening our guest speakers were the Governor General, H.E. Count Ludovico Carducci Artenisio and H.E. F. Russell Kendall. The latter announced the formation of the Middle Atlantic Lieutenancy appointing H.E. Bernard J. Ficarra as the Lieutenant. Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina were taken from the Southeastern Lieutenancy to form part of the Middle Atlantic Lieutenancy. There followed a presentation of the flags of the States that were transferred to the newly formed Lieutenancy from the Southeastern Lieutenancy. Remaining in the Southeastern Lieutenancy are the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

On May 17, 1994 the Lieutenant of the Southeastern Lieutenancy, H.E. George H. Toye, attended the 1994 Consulta of the Order at its Vatican Headquarters in Rome, Italy. This was a five-day meeting and attended by the Lieutenants of the Order throughout the world numbering 44.

The fourth meeting of the Southeastern Lieutenancy was held on October 15 and 16, 1994 in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia. Our Host Bishop was H.E. Most Reverend John F. Donoghue, Archbishop of Atlanta. The Diocesan Coordinator was Reverend Monsignor Edward J. Dillon, KHS, and the general chairpersons were Sir Crofton A. Breuer, KCHS, and Lady Hermione K. Breuer, LCHS. The Lieutenancy was privileged to invest Most Reverend David E. Foley, Bishop of Birmingham; Most Reverend John J. Snyder, Bishop of St. Augustine, 10 priests and 74 Knights and Ladies. The strength of the Lieutenancy was 1171 at this time. The guest speaker for the weekend was Reverend David Marie Jaeger, OMI.

The fifth meeting of the Southeastern Lieutenancy was held in the Archdiocese of Miami, Florida on September 16 and 17, 1995. The Host Bishop was Most Reverend John C. Favalora, Archbishop of Miami. The general chairpersons were Sir Jorge J. Bosch, KC*HS, and Lady Yvelise Bosch, LC*HS. Our guest speaker for the banquet on Sunday evening was Reverend Father Peter Vasko, O.F.M., the English Definitor of the Custody of the Holy Land. Eleven priests and 86 Knights and Ladies were invested.

The sixth meeting of the Lieutenancy was held in the Diocese of St. Petersburg on September 21 and 22, 1996. The Host Bishop was Most Reverend Robert N. Lynch, Bishop of St. Petersburg. The general chairpersons were Sir Douglas Conner, KC*HS, and Lady Elizabeth Conner, LC*HS. Twenty-six Knights and Ladies were awarded the Silver Palm of Jerusalem for their faithful participation in the Apostolate of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem for more than twenty-five years. The Gold Palm of Jerusalem was presented to Reverend Father James Russo for his efforts to the Lieutenancy as Ecclesiastical Master of Ceremonies for many years. The Lieutenancy was privileged to invest the Host Bishop, Most Reverend Robert N. Lynch, 13 priests, 1 Deacon and 66 Knights and Ladies. The guest speaker for the Sunday evening formal banquet was the Most Reverend Thomas G. Doran, Bishop of Rockford, Illinois, and a member of the Grand Magisterium of our Order.

Seven hundred members attended the 2001 Annual Meeting held in May at Saint Dominic Church, New Orleans, Louisiana. The Lieutenancy invested 117 new Knights and Ladies. The event provided the backdrop to welcome the new Lieutenant, Robert B. Acomb and thank the outgoing Lieutenant, George H. Toye, whom the Grand Master Cardinal Furno appointed Lieutenant of Honor. The Lieutenancy Grand Prior Francis B. Schulte, Archbishop of New Orleans, presided over the investiture ceremony, and nine Archbishops and Bishops joined him in celebrating the Eucharist. The Lieutenancy increased its ranks to 1575 members including 128 promotions while 11 Knights and Ladies received the Silver Palm of Jerusalem.2

The Lieutenancy held the 2002 Investiture Ceremony in Orlando, Florida. One hundred twenty eight new members joined the Order and 650 Knights and Ladies witnessed 116 promotions. Bishop of Orlando, Norbert R. Dorsey hosted the occasion attended by 16 brother bishops. Grand Master Carlo Cardinal Furno appointed a new Grand Prior - Monsignor Alfred C. Hughes, Arhcbishop of New Orleans, replacing retiring Grand Prior Francis B. Schulte.2

His Excellency Most Reverend John C. Favalora, KC*HS, Archbishop of Miami hosted the 13th annual meeting in Miami, Florida April 26-27, 2003. George Bosch, KGCHS and Yvelise Bosch, LGCHS discharged their responsiblities as General Chairpersons during the event with liturgical assistance provided by Very Reverend Terrence Hogan, KHS. Grand Prior Alfred Hughes invested 62 Knights and Ladies, along with two monsignors and 17 priests. Promotions were awarded to 160 members.3

The Lieutenancy sponsored two pilgrimages: the first on November 7 through 21, 1993 and the second November 8 through 22, 1996. The Lieutenant led both and included visits to the Holy Land and Rome.

A number of the Southeastern Lieutenancy’s Knights and Ladies joined the worldwide organization of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in March 2000 for a pilgrimage to Rome and then on to the Holy Land for the new millennium. Approximately 3000 Knights and Ladies from around the world made the pilgrimage which was an impressive sight to see when all processed into St. Peter Basilica in their robes for Mass with the Holy Father and then afterwards for a private audience with Pope John Paul II in the Pope Paul VI auditorium.

Sponsored pilgrimages by the Lieutenancy were inactive from about that time until 2007 when our Lieutenant, A. J. Capritto, KGCHS, established Co-Masters of Pilgrimages and charged them with the responsibility of planning and coordinating pilgrimages to the Holy Land. The first pilgrimage was offered in February 2008 and was filled in three weeks. Due to the overwhelming response, a second pilgrimage was offered in November of that year and it was completely filled as well. Given this continued interest in going to the Holy Land, a third trip is planned for February 2009, and as of this writing, it is half full and is expected to be full by departure time as well.4

 

 

1 Blasco, Alfred J. Knight of the Collar, The Modern Crusaders. Pen Rose Publishing Company, Mystic Island, New Jersey, 1998.
2 Wolff, Bernard W., KCHS, compiled. Annales Ordinis Equestris Sancti Sepulchri Hierosolymitani Vol. VI-VII and IX. Grand Magisterium of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcre of Jerusalem,Vatican City 2001, 2002, 2004-2005.
3 Annual Meeting and Investiture Booklet. 2003.
4 Lengyel, John, KGCHS, via electron transmission.