Cardinal George’s priest secretary receives Order of Malta cross for service

On June 26, the Order of Malta bestowed on Father Dan Flens the cross Pro Piis Meritis, translated to “for pius merit,” for his service to the Knights of Malta as priest secretary to Cardinal George.

“Due to the cardinal’s lifetime affliction with polio and three major episodes of cancer Father Flens proved himself as more than a secretary but as one who daily lived the vocation of a hospitaller in his daily round of serving the cardinal,” the order said, adding that the cross for clergy has rarely been awarded since its creation in 1920. The Knights of Malta was founded in the 11th century as a religious confraternity. Today, as a combined religious order and chivalric order with about 11,000 members, it engages in extensive hospital work, emergency medical assistance and relief work for the needy.