Ray and Rolinda Dardano
“Who here has heard of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem?” asked Fr. Christopher Gray, pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Park City, on Sunday, Oct. 30, the Feast of Our Lady Queen of Palestine, one of the four feast days celebrated by the EOHSJ.
Each year, EOHSJ members in Utah choose one or two parishes to visit on this feast day to bring awareness to the order’s mission, which is supporting the Christians who live in the Holy Land.
The EOHSJ is a worldwide papal order having more than 33,000 members. The Diocese of Salt Lake City, which belongs to the organization’s Western USA Lieutenancy, currently has 64 members. Building membership is vital to sustaining the EOHSJ in the Salt Lake diocese, and the order is essential to the survival of Christianity in the Holy Land.
The activities on the Feast of Our Lady Queen of Palestine were intended to bring attention to the EOHSJ and prompt interest in membership for this holy mission. Fr. Gray noted that his mother, Maria-Cruz Gray, and his father, the late Deacon Forrest Gray, joined the order several years ago.
During comments after Mass, a member of the order gave a brief summary of the types of support given to the Christians in the Holy Land. Most notably, the order provides for 75 percent of the budget for the diocese of Jerusalem, more commonly known as the Latin Patriarchate. The funds are provided by the members; no outside fundraising is performed.
He also noted that membership in the EOHSJ is a true calling and members make a life-long commitment to remaining in good standing in the Catholic Church. Members are to carry out acts of charity and to love and serve Christians in the Holy Land.
For information about the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, contact Ray and Rolinda Dardano, Salt Lake Area Co-councillors, at SL_Councillor@eohsjwesternusa.org.