The Friar's Good Samaritan Ecclesiology
Chevaliers de l'Ordre de Notre Dame de Sion
Sovereign Military Religious Ordre of Jerusalem
It's Work for the Betterment of the Human Community in the World At Large
The Ordre of the Knights of Notre Dame views the Church and it's religious ordre as the universal sacrament of salvation and the Body of Christ, but just because it is all this it has a mandate to serve. The Ordre must offer itself as one of the principal agents whereby the human community is made to stand under the judgement of the enduring values of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: freedom, justice, peace, charity, compassion, concern and reconciliation.
The beneficiaries of the Ordre's action, in this type of ecclesiology, are not exclusively or even primarily the members of the Ordre itself, rather they are all those brothers and sisters the world over, who hear from the Ordre a word of comfort or encouragement, or who obtain from the Ordre a respectful hearing or who receive from it some material help in their hour of need.
The Ordre's mission in the perspective of this theology in not primarily to gain new recruits for its own ranks, but rather to be of assistance to all men, whatever they are. The special competence of the Ordre is to keep alive the hope and aspiration of men for the Kingdom of God and its values. In the light of this hope, the Ordre is able to discern the signs of the times and to offer guidance and prophetic criticism. In this way the Ordre promotes the mutual reconciliation of men and initiates them in various ways into the Kingdom of God.
The modern world very much needs something the Ordre alone can provide: faith in Christ, hope in the ultimate coming of God's kingdom, and commitment to the values of peace, justice, and human brotherhood, all of which are dominant biblical themes. Thus, all men can perhaps see the desirability of values such as these. They feel helpless in making these values prevail. Individuals and groups become mired in a quicksand of a cynical quest for power and success. The Christian faith can motivate men, as perhaps no other force, to employ their power in the service of humanity as the image of the Good Samaritan teaches.
The Good Samaritan Ecclesiology reflects a consciousness of these for both the Ordre and the world. It seeks to give the Church a new relevance, a new vitality, a new modernity and a new sense of mission. The effort on the Churches part to overcome its pride, its corporate egotism, and its callousness toward human misery promises to bring about a vast spiritual renewal within the Church itself. Not only individual persons in the Church, but the Church itself, may be transformed into altruistic Good Samaritans caring for the poor and the oppressed. This service can include prophetic criticism of social institutions, and thus assist to transform human society into the image of the promised Kingdom.
It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the results of this ecumenical caring will result in the transcending of the traditional bonds of doctrine and sacramental communion; as old and traditional artificial barriers are removed and replaced with a sense of mutual brotherhood that springs forth among those who join in Christian service toward the world. This, then, is the Good Samaritan Ecclesiology, upon which the foundation of Chevaliers de l'Ordre Notre Dame de Sion is irreversibly secured.
Right Reverend Doctor Douglas L. Trees, NDS
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