- Washington D.C.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- Washington, D.C.
- West Virgina
The Commandery of the Atlantic has an established history of contributing both internationally to humanitarian relief efforts, as well as locally for projects important to our members. Commandery members generously contributed funds to assist victims of major disasters, such as the tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricane Katrina.
Since we are under the religious protection of His Beatitude Patriarch Gregorios III Laham, we have supported charities under his auspices over the years. In 2003, one of our members challenged the Commandery to raise $10,000 for the Infant Welfare Center in Jerusalem. The rationale was clear. It would enable the Commandery of the Atlantic to support a charitable organization in which our dollars would have maximum impact. This center, which is endorsed by our Patriarch, is focused on children’s needs. It welcomes children of all faiths for its clinical services and makes exceptionally good use of our charitable contributions. There is a significant need for our assistance, based on the Infant Welfare Center’s location in the Holy Land among the Christian minorities. Also, the Center is limited to private funds and has desperate medical needs. Every year since 2003, the Commandery of the Atlantic has raised and sent money to the Infant Welfare Center.
In 2006, the Commandery of the Atlantic learned of a Wounded Military Men and Women’s Program in Washington, DC. Our members agreed to support the program by raising money to sponsor our wounded warriors and their family members for a reception and dinner. Most of the wounded warriors are recuperating in Ward 57 at Walter Reed Hospital (orthopedic, physical medicine and rehabilitation). They are amputees or have head and traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s). This is a meaningful way to help our wounded military men and women return to normalcy and have an evening away from the hospital environment. The Commandery of the Atlantic is honored to help make a difference for these wounded warriors who have given so much of themselves in support of our freedom.
The Commandery of the Atlantic is also pleased to continue in the long charitable tradition of the Order of St. Lazarus. We joyfully contribute to the Grand Priory of America’s annual gift to assist with the operation of leprosy clinics in Irapuato (Guanajuato) and Morelia (Michoacan), Mexico.
Shortly after the Order of St. Lazarus was established in the United States during the 1930’s, noteworthy individuals in the Eastern part of the country became members. An early membership roster included the following distinguished members: Patrick Cardinal Hayes, Archbishop of New York; Dennis Cardinal Dougherty, Archbishop of Philadelphia; and William Cardinal O’Connell, Archbishop of Boston. Subsequently other prominent Easterners, including Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York, joined the Order. The advent of World War II discouraged expansion, and not until 1971 was an independent Grand Priory of America established.
In 1972, the Grand Priory of America issued a decree that divided the country into four jurisdictions – Central, Eastern, Southern and Western. They were initially established as Delegations, until their number of members warranted the status of a Commandery (at least 50 members) or a Grand Commandery (at least 75 members). The Eastern Delegation came into being in 1973 under Chevalier Nicolas M. Salgo, KLJ. The original Eastern Delegation headquarters was established in New York City.
May 12, 1973 is a significant date in the history of the Order, as well as for the Eastern Delegation. In Malta, the 47th Grand Master of the Order of St. Lazarus was installed, H.R.H. Prince Francisco Enrique de Borbón y de Borbón, Duque of Sevilla. Also, the Castello ta Lanzun, the Order’s new international headquarters, was dedicated. In Washington, DC, the Grand Prior of America, Monsignor Patrick J. Ryan, held a Mass in honor of the new Grand Master.
On December 1, 1973, under the leadership of Almoner Nicolas M. Salgo, the Eastern Delegation’s first Investiture was held in the Chapel of St. Mary’s Home in New York City. The Most Reverend William J. Moran, Auxiliary Bishop of New York, led those assembled in prayer, and the Grand Prior, Monsignor Patrick J. Ryan, invested ten postulants into the Order. Following the Investiture, the Bailiff, Dr. Hans von Leden, delivered a stirring message on the history of the Order and its goals. And Chevalier Nicolas M. Salgo was installed as the first Delegate of the Eastern Delegation.
During October, 1976, a major International Interdisciplinary Symposium on Problems of the Aging was held at Tufts University in Boston. Planned by the Eastern Delegation under the leadership of Dr. Salvatore R. Traina, the program was cosponsored by the Order of St. Lazarus.
During the American Bicentennial, John Paul Jones, an American naval hero, was honored with a posthumous knighthood in the Order. The official Investiture was performed where John Paul Jones is interred in the crypt of the United States Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland on October 18, 1976. Senior representatives of the Order of St. Lazarus and the United States Navy were present.
In May 1977, the Eastern Delegation hosted functions for the Grand Marshal of the Order of St. Lazarus, His Serene Highness Ernest August Furst zur Lippe, Head of the Sovereign House of Lippe. This significant visit underlined the international nature of the Order.
Also in 1977, the Eastern Delegation had grown its membership to more than 50 members. Thus, it became the second United States jurisdiction to advance to a commandery by becoming the Commandery of the Atlantic.
Spearheaded by Captain Howard S. Browne, AUS (Ret.), during July 1980 our Order joined with the City of Newport and the state of Rhode Island to commemorate Rochambeau. This was a celebration of the arrival of 5,000 French soldiers under the command of the Comte De Rochambeau, an event that signaled the ending of the Revolutionary War. Also significant is that one of Rochambeau’s three senior generals, the Vicomte de Chastellux, was a knight of the Order of St. Lazarus.
In its 34-year history, the Commandery of the Atlantic has enjoyed the leadership of numerous commanders. These include the following individuals: Nicolas M. Salgo, Howard S. Browne, Norman L. Barr, Jr., Richard S. Flahavan and Marny A. Gilluly.
The Commandery of the Atlantic is geographically diverse, with members in states from Massachusetts and Rhode Island down the Eastern seaboard to North Carolina. To accommodate its membership, efforts are made to hold meetings and functions in various cities throughout the Commandery of the Atlantic.
The Commandery of the Atlantic hosted the Grand Priory of America’s Grand Prioral Council Meeting in:
- October 2007 in Baltimore, Maryland held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
- September 2013 in Washington, D.C. at the Grand Hyatt Washington hotel
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The Commandery of the Atlantic’s primary event of the year occurs in December to commemorate St. Lazarus Day. A popular venue over the past two years has been the Christmas choral and concert at the Washington National Cathedral. Commandery members and guests gathered at the Cathedral for an uplifting Christmas choral and dined afterwards at a nearby restaurant. Other St. Lazarus Day events typically take place in the Commandery’s major cities, such as Boston, Connecticut and New York City. When possible, a vespers service is held in a local church, followed by a reception or dinner.
Throughout the year, quarterly events are held in the Washington, DC area, where we have a concentration of members. Over the past few years, functions have been held in places such as the Capitol Hill Club, Chinatown, Georgetown and Mount Vernon. Through these functions, members of the Commandery of the Atlantic make an effort to welcome new members and integrate them into the group as our new confreres and consoeurs.
The Commandery of the Atlantic has several regional member groups, located in Boston, Connecticut, New York City and Virginia Beach, as well as the greater Washington, DC area. Our annual meeting is held in various locations along the Eastern seaboard to give our widely dispersed membership an opportunity to participate.
In 2006, the Commandery of the Atlantic sponsored an event for our wounded military men and women (traumatic brain injuries and amputees). While these wounded warriors were recovering from amputations and traumatic brain injuries, Commandery members were honored to host them for a Friday night dinner out of the hospital.
In January/February 2007, members of the Commandery of the Atlantic were present during the National Workshop on Christian Unity. The Grand Priory of America sponsored the keynote address during this workshop. Local members staffed a display table to share the good charitable and ecumenical work of St. Lazarus with clergy and laypersons in attendance.