A. Gabriel Esteban being inducted as a knight in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Supulchre of Jerusalem at an investiture Mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. — Seton Hall President A. Gabriel Esteban and Father Christopher Ciccarino, S.T.D, associate dean for seminary and academic studies at the University’s Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, were inducted as knights in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Supulchre of Jerusalem at an investiture Mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York in late September.

Being named a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the highest papal awards for clergy and laity in the Catholic Church.  

The chivalric order dates back to the First Crusade in 1099, and its mission is to support the Christian presence in the Holy Land through fundraising and advocacy.

Pope Francis approved the nominations of President Esteban and Father Ciccarino, which were submitted by Archdiocese of Newark Archbishop John J. Myers.

“When the bishop makes this recommendation to the Holy Father, he is saying this person is a very worthy Catholic and is a person of high moral character,” said James Goodness, archdiocese spokesman.

“It is very easy to see that both Dr. Esteban and Father Ciccarino, as administrators and teachers in a Catholic educational setting, have been very active in promoting the Church and its teachings. Because of that, they have been chosen for this personal and prestigious honor within the Church.”

At the investiture Mass, the new knights received the emblems and insignias of the order, including a white cape bearing the Cross of Jerusalem, a collar cross, and a lapel pin.

In addition, they are expected to follow the three virtues of the order — a willingness to subordinate their personal good to the needs of others, support of the poor, and a dedication to justice and peace for all people.

The order supports the building of schools, shrines and seminaries in the Holy Land, as well as projects such as housing, scholarships, business start-up loans, and other types of social work.

The charity of the order is provided to all those in need, regardless of their religious beliefs.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn officiated at the investiture Mass, which was followed by a banquet at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan.

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