Grand Priory of Canada
On behalf of our more than 5,000 Knights and Dames of the Knights Templar worldwide, we welcome you to the International Website of the largest Knight Templar Order in the world, and the only Templar Order recognized in Special Consultative Status by the United Nations.
Our official name is Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (OSMTH), Latin for “The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem”, and often shortened to the initials SMOTJ.
Our Order was founded on the principles first adopted by the original Templar Knights in France in the Year 1118 and carried out in those early days from their home in the Temple of Solomon in the Holy City of Jerusalem, provided for them by then King of Jerusalem Baldwin, the Second. In these modern times, OSMTH is international in nature with members from over 40 nations, ecumenical Christian in our religious beliefs welcoming members of all Christian religions, and focused on matters of human rights, political and religious freedom, and humanitarian aid to the world’s less fortunate. OSMTH is accredited by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status, and maintain Missions at the United Nations in New York City, Geneva and Vienna.
Like the Knights Templar of old, we operate as a modern-day worldwide network of educated professionals in such widely diverse protocols as senior government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, senior clergy, members of the military (Regular and Reserve, both active and retired), physicians and surgeons, engineers, historians, and humanitarian aid caregivers. The Order represents many of the most respected and credible senior officials in their home nations, providing both a highly respected body of expertise, an influential voice to support commitment to the less fortunate of the world, and to promote the time-tested chivalric ideals of honour, honesty, civility, tolerance, care for our fellow man, and support for ecumenical religious faith throughout our individual nations and throughout the world community.
We often find ourselves working with and through other Chivalric Orders, the senior leadership of other nations, and with other NGOs in order to provide humanitarian aid and other involvement in resolution of serious humanitarian needs or political, ethnic, and religious conflict. Engaging the respect and credibility of our world membership in their home nations, we are able to bring resolution and assistance in matters that quite often become bogged down in the bureaucracy of governments and regulations. Our objectives include the international promotion of inter-cultural and inter-religious contacts and worldwide networks in order to help build bridges of brotherhood between nations and cultures, as well as individual good works performed by individual anonymous Knights and Dames. As ecumenical Christians, we also seek to increase awareness of conflicts and their causes and in so doing, work towards their future prevention and ultimate peaceful coexistence of all nations. Because our Order began its first work in The Holy City of Jerusalem in the 12th Century, The Holy Land and its ‘Cradle of Christianity’ are of the highest interest to us in this regard as evidenced by our most recent trip to Jerusalem and our work there with the Senior Leadership of every Christian Church in Jerusalem.
The Order aspires to foster a cosmopolitan society in which differences among peoples, cultures, and governments will be both respected and appreciated. We seek the betterment of humanity through education, world brotherhood, chivalric principles, and civil behavior and treatment among one-another.
Our membership standards are purposely very high, our financial and time commitments are not for everyone, and our dedication to a more caring world requires significant expectations that not everyone can meet. But for those who qualify, the Knights Templar Order offers an unequaled Worldclass Chivalric Order with an international network of some of the most sophisticated and influential professional men and women from over 40 different nations.
Vision and Commitment
- Christian Ethos, Spirituality and Chivalric Values
- Domestic Charity and International Humanitarian Aid
- Human Rights and the respect for Human Diversity
- Interfaith Dialogue and Bridge-Building
- Provide humanitarian aid to Christians and all peoples in need around the world, through physical, financial, and moral support.
- Continue programmes that aid Christians around the world, especially in the Holy Land.
- Mitigate human suffering by actively participating in activities associated with disaster relief, humanitarian aid, human rights, peace building and sustainable development, and the respect of human diversity.
- Facilitate, mediate and advocate conflict-prevention and resolution by providing subject matter experts and supporting organizations in the fields of religious and international diplomacy.
- Being a voluntary organisation, the Order’s works are carried out pro bono by our membership as subject matter specialists within their given professions as advisors, facilitators and catalysts, furthered by effectively utilizing their related networks.
Grand Priory Council
The Grand Priory is led by the Grand Prior of Canada, who is assisted in decision-making and in follow-up and supervision of all Grand Priory matters by a Grand Priory Council. The members of the Grand Priory Council are the Priors, Commanders and Preceptors of the Priories and other operational units of the Grand Priory of Canada, plus additional members fulfilling what are essentially specialist staff functions. To keep the organization efficient and easy to administer, the same structure exists at Priory level, meaning that specialized matters not requiring the Grand Prior’s or a Prior’s intervention can be dealt with on a rapid and routine basis.
The staff functions are as follows, with the addition of the adjective “Grand” for functions performed at Grand Priory level:
- Chancellor, responsible for Operations and Communications, and for acting as second-in-command to the Prior;
- Inspector, responsible for ensuring that the duties and responsibilities of all Knights and Dames are being carried out according to custom and instructions, and for submitting periodic reports as requested by the Prior;
- Secretary, responsible for the personal administration of Knights and Dames, and for matters affecting membership in the Order;
- Treasurer, responsible for all financial matters;
- Armourer, responsible for equipment and supplies; and
- Chaplain, responsible for the spiritual well-being of the Priory and of each Knight and Dame.
In addition at Grand Priory level there are two further functions performed centrally:
- Grand Registrar, responsible for the Grand Registry of Knights and Dames; and
- Chair of the Fundraising Committee.
The Grand Prior is elected by the Grand Priory Council to serve for a term of three years unless extended, while the Priors, Commanders and Preceptors are elected by their operating units for a specific term of service. It is not uncommon for Priors to seek re-election while Knights and Dames are acquiring experience and preparing themselves to assume greater responsibilities.
The Grand Prior and Priors appoint the staff members of the Grand Priory Council and Priory Councils respectively, for periods of service as required. Meetings of these Councils, in person wherever possible and if not by Skype or conference call, are held every month at the call of the Secretaries; the Grand Prior or Prior presides. At these meetings, each Prior decides what reports are required to be rendered; time is always allocated for the Priors, Commanders and Preceptors, or at Priory level for individual Knights or Dames, to bring any points they wish to the Grand Prior’s or Priors’ attention.