Thursday 25 November 2010

Address of the Grand Master

Immediately after his election last weekend as the 50th Grand Master of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem Count Jan Dobrzenský z Dobrzenicz addressed the whole Order:

Your Excellencies and Dear Confrères,
My Friends,

From the bottom of my heart I thank you for entrusting me with your confidence and loyalty. It is an honour to serve you as the 50th Grand Master of our beloved Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem.

Who would have imagined that after almost 1000 years of its history, a young Czech boy would accede to supreme command of our Order and become the successor to so many brilliant and prominent personalities? I draw my roots from the Czech lands and, therefore, dedicate this election to our great and proud Czech Nation.

After 35 years of service to our great Order I will never forget my oath of loyalty to the fundamental principles of tradition and Christian values so dear to all our hearts. I will uphold these principles throughout my entire tenure as Grand Master.

Thanks to the legitimacy provided by the protection of H.R.H Prince Henri d'Orléans, Head of the Royal House of France, I am able to legally assume my office in respect of our Constitutional Charter.

With the help of our Lord Jesus Christ, I will preside over the destiny of The Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem and take the full moral responsibility of my office as Grand Master. In turn, I salute the great courage of many of my fellow brothers and sisters who came here to Orléans under difficult circumstances.

Let it be known that I will never forget this expression of loyalty which proves that we continue to act as one great family. As a family, we will continue to proceed together with humility, modesty and with the greatest of dignity. Now, it is time for me to give you an insight on my vision of the future of The Order of Saint Lazarus and how my mission is to be carried out.

First and foremost, we are a brotherhood of Christian faiths and we all profess our commitment to Our Lord Jesus Christ. This means that we will reinforce our communion as an oecumenical Order; praying together, working together and communicating within this Christian spirit.

Our fundamental raison d’être is to help the poor, the sick, the needy and all those who are unable to help themselves. This will be our priority and everything will be done to refocus the entire Order for this objective.

We shall reach out to all our brothers and sisters throughout the world. I shall embark on a personal crusade with a Reunification strategy for the best interests of the entire Order of Saint Lazarus. This does not mean that we shall be practising an open door policy, but there will be no prerequisites attached to Reunification.

Since we are living in the year 2010 and in a world of rapid communications, I have every intention of putting together an organization based on broad communication amongst our officers and members as well as to the general public. We must be creative in enhancing our message to the entire world.

There are many professional and dedicated people who have volunteered to serve the Order and we owe it to them to provide them with an efficient and modern tool to work with.

Regarding communication, our organization will create a matrix of communication and decision making from the bottom to the top. We must listen to what our membership is telling us and cater our efforts to their requirements. All our members should know that I, and my officers, will never forget that we are elected by the membership. Living in a bubble is now part of the past.

There will be a great effort undertaken to put into place a legal international structure best adapted to our activities, in line with the principles of tradition and aligned with the Constitutional Charter. This legal structure will be necessary to reinforce our global strength and international credibility.

Last but not least, we shall enhance our promotion of Growth. Our system of communication will contribute to the increase and enhancement of awareness of The Order of Saint Lazarus and its activities. Furthermore, we shall embark upon a comprehensive programme of growth of membership. This growth of membership will bear the slogan of ‘Quality Christians’.

Today I take as my solemn charge the defence of all the moral and Christian values, so dear to our hearts. I urge you all to follow me and to:
- Reach out with compassion in your hearts to our neighbours, our brothers and sisters, and those who really need our help.
- Open our minds to the reality of the world around us.
- Behave at all times as true and humble Christians.
- Act at all times as model citizens of the country and society we live in.
- Do away with greed, personal ambition and the conflict of interest so devastating to our reputation in the past.
Today we profess together our faith in the future because WE are the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem. By showing the example of Christian morality we will pay homage to the legitimacy of our actions and respect for the Constitutional Charter.

Let us move forward in the name of our Almighty Lord, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Lazarus.

I take this solemn charge, avec l’aide de Dieu. So help me God.

Jan Count Dobrzensky y Dobrzenicz, 50th Grand Master