In 1023, Caliph al-Zahir granted a delegation from Amalfi the permission to build a hospital, church, and monastery in Jerusalem. He allocated land to the Amalfitans near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for those purposes. It is this grant of permission that planted the seeds – and the vision – of our Sovereign Order.
Today, as then, a primary objective of our Order is to support the sick and poor in Christ. To this end each Commandery chooses the charities, mostly local, it will support, some choosing a few larger projects and others distribute smaller contributions over a broader spectrum. But everywhere, the joy of seeing others helped is a fundamental reason for membership.
All funds contributed for charities go to the designated charities. The annual Oblations (dues), paid by members, are used to cover the low operating costs and for additional donations. Commanderies and Priories have a variety of fundraising events and campaigns, the net funds of which go directly to the charities.
Below is a summary of the current primary charitable focus of each Commandery around the world. Within each summary are links (“Current” and “Previous“) which will take you to far more detail on the charities supported in the current period and over the years:
Grand Priory of Canada > Priory of Caledonia > Vancouver Commandery
Twenty grants were approved and awarded totaling $265,077. In addition to the grants program, committee members have been involved in outreach, education and awareness events, with various programs interested in our Commandery’s support. The Commandery is also playing a lead role in developing B.C. standards for hospice palliative care and is funding the development by Pallium Canada of a provincial atlas showing hospice and palliative care resources in B.C.
Grand Priory of Canada > Priory of Cascadia > Okanagan Commandery
The Commandery chose a multi-year project to support building a children’s playground at NOW Canada community housing project. A total of nearly $44K is pledged.
Grand Priory of Canada > Priory of Caledonia > Ontario Commandery
The Commandery Foundation has pledged $10,000 to the Dianne Morrison Hospice for the Homeless.
Grand Priory of Canada > Priory of Cascadia > Victoria Commandery
Victoria Commandery distributed a record $341,300 in over 30 direct grants to qualifying charitable organizations in our community in 2022; $141,300 from Commandery donations raised; and $200,000 received from the Times Colonist Christmas Fund. The lion’s share of the donations went to fight high food costs and scarce resources the service providers were attempting to fund.
Grand Priory of the United States and Central America > Priory of Northeastern United States > Cleveland Commandery
Through 2021 the Cleveland Commandery donated a total of US$112,387 to eight different worthy charities. The majority of the money was donated to support COVID-19 services around the community.
Washington DC Commandery
The current focus is on providing wheelchairs to local organizations in need.
Grand Priory of the United States and Central America > Priory of Southeastern United States > The Palm Beaches Commandery
The Commandery donated over $45k in 2022, focused on Ukrainian refugees, feeding the poorest, supporting underprivileged children.
Grand Priory of the United States and Central America > Priory of Western United States > St. Joseph Commandery (San Jose, California)
For 2023 the Commandery has selected eight charities to support for a total of $260,000. The focus is on the poorer or disadvantaged areas of the community, in particular to schools, healthcare, homeless support and people with a wide range of disabilities. Additionally, there is a new focus on hands-on activities to engage our members in practical support of local charities with special projects.
Grand Priory of the United States and Central America > Priory of San Francisco Bay > St. Francis Commandery
The Commandery focused on support the Budapest Commandery with a $30,000 donation to help support child refugees from Ukraine. Upcoming support will focus on homeless prenatal care, a children’s Hospice and higher education for severely wounded veterans.
Grand Priory of the United States and Central America > Priory of Western United States > Sierras Commandery
In 2022 the Commandery donated $10,000 to the Renown Hospital’s lovely Spiritual Center, to purchase thirty-five prayer boxes and prayer cards. In addition, a donation of $52,000 was made to the Reno Sparks Gospel Mission, for the purchase of a much needed late-model refrigerated box truck, to aid in the collection and distribution of perishable food items to those in need in our community.
Grand Priory of the United States and Central America > Priory of San Francisco Bay > Western Military Commandery
Grand Priory of St. Henrik (Finland)
The Tampere Commandery made two donations of EUR 10,000 each to support the Deaconess work in two parishes in Tampere.
Grand Priory of France > Priory of Brittany
Commandery of Hungary
Grand Priory of the UK and Ireland > Commandery of Glasgow
Commandery support focused locally on a school project, Protect 81, The Phoenix Choir and a Ukrainian refugee in Scotland. In addition the Commandery sent £5,000 to the Budapest Commandery to support their efforts with Ukrainian refugees.
Grand Priory of the UK and Ireland > Commandery of London
The Commandery donated a total of £10,000 divided equally among a Marie Curie Hospice, Camphill Village Trust, St Vincent’s Nursing Home and Prost (8) UK, a cancer charity. Future focus will be on supporting a single selected charity.
The Commandery has undertaken a Capital Project, to build a Centre of Excellence in Pediatric Palliative care. It will be the ﬁrst of its kind in Denmark, in fact in all of Scandinavia. All Members are committed to achieving this mission, knowing that it may take four to six years to see its doors open.