He is one of four new members accepted into the order this year and one of four from the Diocese of Knoxville
Deacon Sean Smith, chancellor of the Diocese of Knoxville, has been knighted as a Commander in the Order of the Fleur de Lis.
Deacon Smith is one of four new members accepted into the order this year, and he is one of four members from the Diocese of Knoxville. Joining him in the order from the diocese are Bishop Richard F. Stika, Deacon Paul Nelson of St. Jude Parish in Chattanooga, and Order of the Fleur De Lis Grand Chancellor and Board of Governors member Michael Horten, who is a member of St. Stephen Parish in Chattanooga.
Other members of the order from Tennessee are Diocese of Nashville Bishop David Choby, Diocese of Memphis Bishop Terry Steib, SVD, William Gunter of St. Stephen Parish in Mount Juliet, John King of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Cordova, Ernest Plus of St. Rose of Lima Church in Murfreesboro, Michael Porter of St. Stephen Church in Old Hickory, John Prudhomme of Germantown, and Robert Rounsefell of Cordova.
The Order of the Fleur De Lis is an nonprofit organization of Catholic men incorporated under the laws of Louisiana. The order’s domain consists Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
It’s objectives are to support and defend the Catholic Church and its teachings; promote patriotism and good citizenship; encourage public morality and unselfish service to God and country; assist and publicize the activities of other organizations that also promote these tenets.
The order’s objectives also are to memorialize and popularize the memories and achievements of Catholic leaders in religion, the arts and sciences, philanthropy education, exploration and archeology, government and international relations, medicine and jurisprudence and other established professions. It commends individuals and organizations for outstanding public service; decorates with its highest honor—the Knight Commander’s Cross, those outstanding Catholic men who have contributed in a distinguished way to the service to God and country.
“In order to be a member of the Fleur de Lis, you must be a Catholic male who has contributed significantly to the Catholic faith through his actions or accomplishments,” said Grand Chancellor Walter J. Laborde. “No more than four new members are presently accepted every other year.”
Membership is limited to 30 men from the five-state area. All bishops in those states who request membership are automatically accepted. Membership is open to all laymen, priests, and deacons, but they must be nominated by a current member and go through the selection process by a membership committee, then are approved by the board of governors.
Deacon Smith, who also served as chairman of the Eucharistic Congress, also is a knight in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
The Equestrian Order is the only lay institution of the Vatican State charged with providing for the needs of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and of all the activities and initiatives to support the Christian presence in the Holy Land.
The Order of the Fleur de Lis’ Mr. Laborde said in some years the organization only accepts one person.
“We want to keep the numbers small so that it maintains an honorary level of membership, but also because we feel a smaller group facilitates better communication and we can accomplish more.”