By Their Fruits You Will Know Them:
MN Area Order of Malta Summer 2021 Newsletter
MN Area Board

MN Area Chair:


Matt Hefron, KM
Arika Heffron, DM

Auxiliary Member Chair:

Dorothy Guanella, DM

Marc Jenny, KM

Membership Chair:

Communications Chair:

Andrew Busam, KM


Britt Noser, KM
MN Area Chaplains

Fr. Joseph Johnson, ChM

Fr. Mark Pavlak, ChD

Deacon Steven Koop, ChDD
Table of Contents
MN Area News
Service Opportunities
Area Chair Ivan Posthumus, KM
Dear Confreres,

I hope this newsletter finds you and your families happy and healthy.
My apologies for the delay in this newsletter. Moving forward we will be on a quarterly publication schedule. You will also notice that we are using a new format. Andrew has done a wonderful job as our communications chair and we will continue to adjust formatting and content as we become more familiar with the new version of constant contact.

Prior to the pandemic the board created a survey for our area members to provide us with feedback regarding service opportunities, frequency and content of communications, and ideas on how we can get together more often as a community. We received a decent number of responses to the survey and where discussing what we might implement. Then the pandemic hit and we were forced to go on hold. Understanding that we are still in uncertain times, the board would like to request that you participate in a new survey. We are looking for input on new service opportunities, how we can get together more frequently as an area, and the comfort level of our members to get together for our hands on work and community prayer. I ask you to please take a few minutes to fill out the survey. Your input is important to myself and the board.

I want to thank Patty and Tom Hooley for their service over the last year and a half as area Membership Co-Chairs. Their help has been greatly appreciated by me and the board.

My prayers for your and your family on this Feast of the Assumption.

God Bless you,
Ivan Posthumus, KM
MN Area Chair
Father Mark Pavlak, ChD
Post-modern? More like post-Christian.

A cursory reading of the Old Testament – in particular the Pentateuch (the first five books of Moses) – will show you how the Chosen People were meant to be set apart by God, to be different, and to be a light to the nations. They worshiped only one God, something seen as ridiculous by the ancient pagan followers. Or, look at their strict dietary laws in Leviticus. God’s people in the Old Covenant lived differently from the rest of the world. 
The Christians, however, do not necessarily look different. In an ancient letter to Diognetus, the author starts off by saying, “Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language, or customs They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life… With regard to dress, food, and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in.” In many ways, the Christians of then and now are ordinary people like everyone else around them.
But the letter continues. He says, “And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through… They live in the flesh but are not governed by the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law. Christians love all men, but all men persecute them.”

Read more here
Deacon Steven Koop, ChDD
When I was asked to write a short article for the newsletter I asked for some guidance about the topic. It was suggested that I might say something about this time of division in our nation and around the world. More specifically, the idea was put forward that the choices we make about how we look at each other can make a difference in how we live together, especially during challenging and stressful moments. How do we do the work of forming opinions about others? I would like to emphasize three points for your consideration.
As difficult as it can be at times, it is good to remember that we are each a creation of God, made intentionally and with a purpose. Two passages from scripture make this point. In Psalm 139 we hear:
“You formed my inmost being;
You knit me in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works!
My very self you know.
My bones were not hidden from you,
When I was being made in secret,
Fashioned in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw me unformed.
In your book all are written down.
My days were shaped before one came to be.”
And, in the opening chapter of Jeremiah we hear this:
“You formed my inmost being,
You knit me in my mother’s womb.”

Read more here
Anne Marie Hansen, DM
Ponderings On My Call as a Dame of Malta Through the Lens of the Life of St. Joseph

“…forgetful of myself, learning ever from the Holy Gospel a spirit of deep and generous Christian devotion, striving ever to promote God’s glory…” (From the Daily Prayer of the Order of Malta)

It seems to me that these words from our daily prayer could aptly describe St Joseph and the vocation he had to care for his wife, Mary and guard his foster son, Jesus. In this year dedicated to our dearest St Joseph I have often pondered on how our individual response to this call of a Knight or Dame in the Order of Malta very much parallels the life of St Joseph and his dedicated, quiet and humble service. He has gone mostly unnoticed and nothing much is even written about this man who was the first to adore the Infant Jesus and hold in his arms the Savior of the World. 

Read more here
Area Hospitaller Co-Chair Matthew Heffron, KM
During our Lenten retreat, one of the Knights in our local Area asked me about whether there was a baseline of the prayers and devotions we should all know as Members of the Order. He accurately observed that our Members grew up in different eras and in different parts of the country, and we are a mix of both converts and cradle Catholics.
The answer is, yes, the Regulations and Commentary provide a menu of devotions and prayers that fit the spirituality of the Order. However, those are spread across the book, and you must compare multiple sections to find the common threads. I would identify those themes as:
  1. Confession and Holy Mass
  2. Reading the Bible
  3. Some form of the Liturgy of the Hours*
  4. The Rosary, the Angelus, celebrating Mary’s feast days, and honoring her Immaculate Heart
  5. Invoking the saints and blessed of the Order, marking their feast days, and knowing about them
  6. Praying for each other
  7. Connecting our service in the Order, anything else we do in or for the Church, and even our professions and secular work, to our vocation to be chivalrous, noble, faithful followers of Christ
This may lend itself to some quick action items: go to Confession, learn the Angelus, mark the feasts of the saints of the Order on your calendar, say the Rosary more often. Others are larger commitments, such as integrating the Liturgy of the Hours into your daily life.

Read more here
MN Area News
2021 Grants
For 2021, the Minnesota area of Knights of Malta gave out in out over $8,000 in grants to local Catholic organizations, for items ranging from medical equipment to food shelf support for the following organization the Women's Care Center in Duluth, Abria Pregnancy Resources Twin Cities, and the Franciscan Brothers of Peace Twin Cities. Over the last four years Minnesota area of Knights of Malta has grant more then $30,000 to local Catholic organizations.

It is only six month before the grant process starts again on January 15, 2021.
Candidates for Investiture
Please pray for our candidates for investiture and their sponsors

2021: Alex Lovstad
Sponsors Bob Hanten, KM
Steve Hawkins, KM
2022: Angela Burger
Sponsors Sandra Davis, DM
Anne Marie Hansen, DM
Jesse Green
Sponsors Andrew Busam, KM
Fr. Joseph Johnson, ChM
Feast of St John the Baptist
Members of the Minnesota Area gathered together to celebrate the Feast of St. John the Baptist on Thursday, June 24th at Holy Family Church in St. Louis Park.
Knights and Dames began this feast day celebration with Mass with Fr. Joseph Johnson, ChM, as our celebrant. After Mass, members gathered for dinner in the church hall.
Area member support for the Year of St. Joseph
I want to thank all of our members that have provided underwriting support for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Year of St. Joseph. Anne Marie Hansen, DM who is the chairwoman of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis committee, and the other committee members have done a wonderful job.

St. Joseph Pray for Us.
Service Opportunities
Twin Cities Prison Ministry
I find it funny how we so often compartmentalize our thoughts, our lives…who we see and who/what we can put in a box in the attic, gathering dust, to be opened…well, when we have time…I’ll think about that when I have more time…

In Jesus’ admonition to us in Matthew 25:31-46, there is a passage the Order of Malta lives by…feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the ill and you cared for Jesus, but visiting those imprisoned is a little harder to do. So many stigmas and preconceptions are attached to journeying with those affected by incarceration yet their needs are so very great.

In our great country (and I mean that sincerely, but like everything we have flaws), we incarcerate more people per capita than any other country in the world. Less than 5% of the world’s population is in the United States, but 20% of the world’s incarcerated people are here.

About 0.7% of the United States is currently in a federal or state prison or local jail. If this number seems unworthy of the term “mass incarceration,” consider that 0.7% is just shy of 1%, or approximately one out of a hundred people.

This does not include all of those affected by incarceration: families, friends, the community, the economy, the judicial system, the staff and especially the children. Seems like a very grim story. But truth be told, 97% of all those who are incarcerated return to our communities. They are in the pews at church, the supermarket, community events, etc. With that in mind, we need to change our perceptions from being a punitive nation to one of rehabilitation and reconciliation.

That rehabilitation can begin and be sustained by a mentor on the outside to walk with them on their journey back to being a full citizen in our community. Or from a monthly letter as a penpal, doing the same thing, walking and praying with them as you accompany them on their journey. Or welcoming families and friends of the incarcerated, who through no fault of their own, are now alone, stigmatized and unsupported. How many children go to school each day, worrying about others finding out about their parent’s “deep dark secret.” You can start a support group at your church and establish a safe, confidential setting to support each other…not a therapy group but a place to just speak their truth without judgement and to pray together.

Please check out our website: to view past workshops and forums that describe ways for you to dust off that box in the attic and to be involved or request a booklet of activities that you can participate in by emailing

Thank you to the American Order of Malta of Minnesota for your spiritual and financial support. We are grateful.
Fay Connors, AUX
American Association Pen Pal Program
The American Association sponsors a safe and secure Pen Pal Program for prisoners, run by the Minnesota Delegation. This provides members and friends a means to live out Christ's call to "visit the imprisoned" from the comfort of our homes and on our own time schedule.
Pen Pals commit to writing no less than one letter a month for no less than one year to an inmate assigned to them. Pen Pals send their letters direct to inmates using a pseudonym and our innocuous P.O. Box as the return address. Inmates write to you using your pseudonym and mail their letters to our P.O. Box and we in turn forward letters to you. And the process repeats. 
Full details are available here. Document #2 contains an application we hope you will complete and return. Other documents include letterhead, sample letters, tips for writing effective letters and more. 
If you find yourself with a little extra time, we have hundreds of inmates waiting to connect. Most will someday be released and what we do now will have a profound impact on their return to our communities. While up to 65% of released inmates nationwide return within 3 years, those who have someone who cares about them while they are serving their time, return at a rate of less than 5%. That's not 5% lower than 65%. That's less than 5% total return! Can you be present to someone in need of a Pen Pal? 

Steven Hawkins, KM
Cook and Serve Dinner at Dorothy Day
Life gets busy with travel, work, school, and church schedules. However, the need in our communities is always present. We invite you to consider volunteering, or continuing to volunteer, at our monthly service at Dorothy Day. The next dates include:

Friday, August 27, 4pm-6pm
Friday, September 24, 4pm-6pm
Friday, October 22, 4pm-6pm
Friday, November 26, 4pm-6pm
Friday, December 24, 4pm-6pm

The location is 422 Dorothy Day Place, Saint Paul, MN 55102, and you can sign up at Loaves & Fishes: Loaves & Fishes Sign Up ( Please note that this link resets every month, so you can always sign up for the next one that is upcoming.
Volunteer for Membership Committee Chair
I am looking for Knights and Dames to serve as the Membership Chair or Co-Chairs. This role is critical to the growth of the area. Please prayerfully consider serving in this role. If you have questions as to what the role and responsibility are please contact me at or by phone 612.237.4842.
Prayer Requests
Prayer Requests: Any intentions for prayer requests should be sent to

  • For Margaret Nobles continued healing.
First Saturday Mass
First Saturdays Mass, every First Saturday of the month at 8:00am, will continue at the Church of the Holy Family, 5900 West Lake Street, Saint Louis Park.  
Nightly Rosary
Nightly Rosary:

The MN Area has been doing an online nightly rosary Monday through Saturday at 6:30pm. All are invited to join in. The prayers are offered for an end to the pandemic, and for the intentions of our members.

Meeting ID: 847 9494 8723
Passcode: 128636
Area Dues 2021
A decision was made by the board to waive area dues for the year 2021. If you have any questions please contact Ivan Posthumus
Order of Malta, MN Area | Website