Show Menu

Fra’ John T. Dunlap is the new Lieutenant of the Grand Master

Fra’ John T. Dunlap, member of the Sovereign Council, was appointed this morning by Pope Francis Lieutenant of the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta.

Fra’ John T. Dunlap succeeds Fra’ Marco Luzzago who died on 7 June.

In his letter of appointment, Pope Francis states that ‘the sudden departure of the Lieutenant of the Grand Master, Fra’ Marco Luzzago, a few months before the celebration of the Extraordinary Chapter General, brings the Order of Malta to a new moment of dismay and uncertainty.’

Pope Francis’ decision will allow the Order of Malta to accelerate the reform process and return to an ordinary administration under a Grand Master. The Order of Malta is grateful to the Holy Father for his paternal solicitude.

Following the solemn funeral of Fra’ Marco Luzzago, Fra’ John T. Dunlap will be sworn in tomorrow, 14 June, in the Church of Santa Maria in Aventine in the presence of Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi and the Sovereign Council of the Order of Malta.

The new Lieutenant Grand Master together with the Pope’s Special Delegate, Cardinal Tomasi,  and the Sovereign Council will continue the process of constitutional reform of the Sovereign Order of Malta.


Fra’ John T. Dunlap was born in Ottawa, Canada, in 1957. After studies at the University of Nice he graduated from the University of Ottawa, then obtaining his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Western Ontario. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in Public Service by the John Cabot University in Rome.

Fra’ John Dunlap is an attorney admitted to the New York State Bar and a barrister and solicitor of the bar of the province of Ontario. In 1986, he joined the law firm of Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller in New York, becoming a partner in 1993. He specialised in corporate and immigration law. An internationally respected lawyer, he is since 1997 a legal advisor to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations.

Admitted to the Order of Malta in 1996, he took temporary vows as a Knight of Justice in 2004. In 2006, he was elected first Regent (religious superior) of the Sub-Priory of Our Lady of Lourdes based in New York. On 7 June 2008, he took his solemn vows as the first American member to do so.

In 2009 Fra’ John Dunlap was elected for a five-year term as a member of the Sovereign Council. He was re-elected for another five-year term by the Chapter General – the Order’s elective body – in 2014 and 2019.

For over a decade he has served the Order of Malta as Chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Names and Emblems and Representative to the Alliance of the Orders of St.John.

News Archive

2020 - 2019 - 2018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012



The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.