The Grand Master has announced with great pleasure the appointment of His Excellency the Most Reverend Monsigneur Michele Pennisi, Archbishop of Monreale (Sicily) and Abbot of Santa Maria del Bosco.

- CARITAS CHRIST URGET  - The Love of Christ urges (me) ) - 
The Coat of Arms of the Ecclesiastical Grand Prior of the Order,
 His Excellency Mons.  Michele Pennsini, Archbishop and Abbot of Monreale  (Italy) 
drawn by Mathieu Chaine and published by Chev. Prof. Ross  KLJ

This significant appointment was made, in accordance with the Order’s Constitution, by the Grand Master after consultation with the Order’s Spiritual Protector, our beloved Patriarch, who gave his blessing and approval.
Archbishop Pennisi was born in 1946 and became a priest in 1972. He is a graduate in philosophy and theology of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and lectured in sociology (he has a special interest in the works of Luigi Sturzo) in Sicily. He was subsequently Rector of the Collegio Capranica in Rome. In 2002, Pope John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Piazza Armerina, and in 2013 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of Monreale. Monreale is 15kms (9 miles) from Palermo and is famed for its Norman Cathedral, dating from 1174, which contains some of the remains of Saint Louis, King of France and one of the most famous Bourbon ancestors. 

Archbishop Pennisi, who is a member of the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace, is noted for his anti-Mafia criticism. He is also a Knight Grand Cross of the Constantinian Order of Saint George (House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies) and a Grand Officer of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher. 
According to our Constitution the Ecclesiastical Grand Prior of the Order, with the support of a Spiritual Advisory Council, will provide counsel and support to the national jurisdictions, and advise the Grand Master and the Grand Magistral Council on all
matters of ecclesiology and spirituality of the Order.
As a Principal Grand Officer of the Order, the Ecclesiastical Grand Prior is an ex-officio member of all the Order’s main committees, including the Grand Executive Committee and Grand Magistral Council.  He is the chairman of the Spiritual Advisory Council and the Ecumenical Commission. In addition, the Ecclesiastical Grand Prior’s presence is important for some events such as Vigils and Investitures or our periodic Pilgrimages to a Holy Shrine. He also provides a significant connection with the Order’s Spiritual Protector.

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