The Priory of Saint Peter Nolasco

The Priory of Saint Peter Nolasco is the North American arm of the MOC's global community and is divided into two interdependent Commanderies: The Commandery of the Raritan Bay and The Commandery of New Haven. Although largely concentrated in the NE United States, members of the Priory are scattered throughout the US and Canada.

The Priory of St. Peter Nolasco is part of the Grand Priory of the English Tongue, whose leadership resides in the United Kingdom. It is named after St. Peter Nolasco, a Catholic saint from Catalonia, who was part of the ancient Crown of Aragon. St. Peter lived in the first half of the 13th century, was the founder of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy (Orden de la Merced), and was a tutor of James I of Aragon.

The MOC has had a presence in North America for decades as a single Commandery and was elevated to Priory status in February 2015, a direct result of its burgeoning growth and its commitment to various charitable endeavors.  Worthy, charity-minded individuals are sought as potential members for the Order and ceremonies of Investiture are held throughout the year. Check our Events section for announcements.

The MOC is structured like most other orders of knighthood where the structural breakdown is as follows:

  • Magistral Council / Government
  • Grand Priories
  • Priories
  • Commanderies

Each level typically covers a geographic area and new ones are erected depending on the number of knights or dames that fall into the jurisdiction.

The Magistral Council or Government is the overseeing body for the entirety of the Order and has global jurisdiction. The most senior knights and dames are appointed by the Grand Master to positions within the Council. Individual knights and dames are admitted into one of the various Commanderies and have the opportunity to progress in the ranks, depending on their personal wishes and contributions to the betterment of mankind.