Visit of the Grand Hospitaller of the Order of Malta to Lithuania
On the occasion of its 30th anniversary, the Order of Malta’s Relief Organization received a very distinguished guest of the highest rank – H.E. Dominique Prince de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel, H. E. Grand Hospitaller of the Order of Malta, who arrived from Rome. In Lithuania, the Grand Hospitaller not only participated in formal meetings with the President of Lithuania and Ministers, but also got acquainted with the members of the Maltesers community, the activities of Kaunas Maltesers, and participated in the opening of the first Maltesers Care Home.
On 15th September, meetings were held with the Minister of Health of the Republic of Lithuania, Arūnas Dulkys, the Minister of Social Security and Labour, Monika Navickienė, and the Minister of the Interior, Agnė Bilotaitė.
The meetings focused on the Covid-19 pandemic and migration issues, as well as the need for assistance to the most vulnerable groups. It was agreed that the whole society should contribute to the crisis response – both volunteers and organisations with practical experience – and that the Order of Malta, working in 120 countries, can apply its knowledge to the current challenges. The Grand Hospitaller thanked the Ministers for their partnership and presented them with commemorative gifts of bronze Diptychs.
After his visit to the ministries, the Grand Hospitaller went to Kaunas to see the Maltesers community here: he met the volunteers, interacted with the disabled people in their care and with the children of the Children Day Care Centre.
On the 16th of September, the opening of the Maltesers’ St. John the Baptist Care Home was held. The Grand Hospitaller extended his warm greetings and wished a long and successful life, and after the opening ceremony, a separate meeting was planned with the Bishop of Maltesers, Darius Trijonis, who received the Cross of the Order of Malta from the Grand Hospitaller on behalf of the Order of Malta.
A visit to the President of the Republic of Lithuania, Gitanas Nausėda, was planned for 17th September. The President thanked the Grand Hospitaller for the responsible social activities of the Maltesers since the restoration of independence, which were not only necessary, but still very important for Lithuania. The Grand Hospitaller congratulated the President and his wife Diana Nausėdienė on the very high level of professionalism and responsibility of the Lithuanian volunteers and President’s family cooperation during Maltesers’ projects.
After the visit to the President, Fr. Mykolas Sopočka Hospice and interacted with the director, Sister Michaela Rak, and the community of the Hospice.
We are extremely grateful to the Grand Hospitaller H.E. Dominique Prince de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel for the opportunity to be together, to share and to grow.