William Harper Bennett founded the Order of Alhambra on February 29, 1904, in Brooklyn, New York, as a Catholic fraternal and social association. He named it “Alhambra” after a Moorish palace in Granada, Spain.
The Order’s emblem consists of a crescent surmounted by a tower, signifying the victory of the Christians over the Moors who occupied Spain for almost 800 years. The Fez worn by Order members prominently displays this emblem as its centerpiece. Pope John Paul II honored the Order by accepting a Fez during his Papal reign. Members belong to Caravans, the local Caravans organize events and community support. They have broad discretion in developing Caravan activities.
As for Mr. Bennett, he also was known for helping the Knights of Columbus draw up the Fourth Degree in 1899. This aided his ability to establish the Alhambra fraternal organization. While the primary objectives of the organization dealt with sociability among its members, Mr. Bennett also gave the organization a second duty of marking historical sites, persons and events important to the Catholic Church.
At the time of his death in 1931, the New York Times characterized Mr. Bennett as an historian for his prolific writings on Catholic Church and for integrating the church’s teachings into the Order of Alhambra.
If he were alive today, Mr. Bennett would be proud of his Order of Alhambra and the way it still truly promotes the social welfare of its Catholic members in a fraternal organization. The organization’s headquarters is in Baltimore, Md.
Locally, the Caravan Padul #69 chapter meets the third Thursday of each month. Members welcome any Catholic who wants to make a difference in the lives of intellectually disabled people in the Hampton Roads area.
The Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.