The Eastern Lieutenancy is the oldest Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in the United States. It was established in 1940 and today is comprised of four eastern states – New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and the Bahamas.
Since its existence, the Eastern Lieutenancy has sought to uphold the special mandate given by the Holy Father to the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem – to strengthen the Christian life of its members and to support the Christian presence in the Holy Land.
While the material aid of the Order in the Holy Land is particularly directed toward the financial support of the institutional activities of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, including pastoral care, maintenance of clergy, support of the seminary, construction and maintenance of parish churches and school buildings, and subsidy of school operations, the assistance of the Order also includes financial support for the construction, rehabilitation, advancement, and operating expenses of other shrines and sanctuaries, educational institutions, houses of formation, residences for priests and religious, child-care institutions, homes for the aged and the handicapped, and health-care and social service institutions.
In the early 1990’s, in keeping with its mandate, the Eastern Lieutenancy became directly involved in the restoration of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Former Lieutenant George Doty, KGCHS, championed the cause to complete the renovations of one of the Basilica’s domes that had been delayed for technical, financial, and legal reasons. He obtained consensus from the other Patriarchs – Greek and Armenian – of the Holy Land, which resulted in its eventual restoration. The new dome was unveiled to an ecumenical gathering of Christian leaders who joined in celebration of the much needed repairs. Many believed that the significance of the effort was not the artwork that resulted, but “the fact that three churches got together and agreed after so many years.”
Today the Eastern Lieutenancy continues to advocate for the preservation of the holy places and the Christian presence in the Holy Land through its financial support, pilgrimages and prayer-filled endeavors.