Local News Archive
Print Issue: July 5, 1984
Msgr. Kiernan Receives New Honor
By Msgr. Noel C. Burtenshaw
Atlantas well known man of many uniforms, Monsignor R. Donald Kiernan, has established outreach to many charitable brotherhoods in his 30 years of priesthood. A new opportunity has now come along and the famous pastor has accepted the challenge.
Its not really a challenge, says the pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. Its more like an honor and I greatly appreciate being asked.
The request came from the very ancient Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem to be chaplain of their Georgia chapter. The Order is an international fellowship of men and women who dedicate themselves to charitable causes, especially to leper hospitals around the world.
The Order, says Msgr. Kiernan, is said to have had its beginnings even before the coming of Christ when a leper hospital was founded outside the walls of the old city of Jerusalem. But that is merely legend. We do know that in the year 369 Pope Pius IV mentioned the Order in one of his letters.
The Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus was a military fraternity. Not only did they assist leper hospitals and centers, they also defended hospitals during the Christian Crusades. Lay men and women have continued the tradition along with the charitable outreach down the years.
Chapters have been formed in the U.S. and the one here in Georgia has asked Monsignor Kiernan to be their chaplain.
Installation will take place during religious and social ceremonies at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. on July 15. It is a great honor, says Monsignor Kiernan, who is chaplain to many police departments in Georgia and who has held the position of Chaplain to the Georgia and International Police Chiefs. His Beatitude Maximos V. Hakim, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, is the protector of the Order today. He will be there to install me as chaplain and I will have the honor of concelebrating the Mass. So July 15 will be a big day for me.
The headquarters of the Order is in Malta so when Monsignor received the invitation, documentation had to be sent to the authorities at headquarters. However, all has been approved and the new chaplain is ready to take office.
Many well known U.S. Catholics have been members of the Order. They included Cardinals Mundaline, Hayes and Spellman. Bishop Fulton Sheen was a member. Archbishop Hannan of New Orleans is known to be a member.
So, Monsignor R. Donald Kiernan will join this famous band of churchmen when he is installed as the first Georgia chaplain of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem.