Eight candidates for council memberships received their First Degree. All conferees, joined by four other brother knights, then proceeded to their Second Degree ceremonial. The chamber was filled to capacity and all felt that the degree teams did an outstanding job. They spoke from the heart with sincerity and pride in our Order. The degree teams were both from Burlington, NC, and Pius X Council 3498 of Blessed Sacrament Church.
The Second Degree Ceremonial was dedicated to Sir Knight Jerry Pilarski in recognition of his unselfish dedication to the church, his parish, and the Knights of Columbus. Grand Knight Matt Raynor commented, “When the Knights are doing something, Jerry, is found there.” Jerry has prepared many meals and pig pickings for the Council and prepares all of the pork that is sold to support parish programs to aid the homeless and poor seeking assistance at our door.
The Knights of Columbus members progress through three ceremonials in their quest for full knighthood in their fraternal order. The Knights of Columbus were formed in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney, a parish priest in New Haven, Connecticut. He was faced with a parish of many immigrants who worked in local factories and silver smelting plants. Still many others were without work due to bigotry and shunning by non-Catholics. Many died premature deaths, leaving widows and orphans to face a life of poverty. Some parish members were also tempted to join non-Catholic fraternal groups in hopes of gaining employment and acceptance.
Fr. McGivney’s dream was to form a core group of the faithful for the mutual benefit of the church and to provide for widows and orphans. That small group of men grew into what we now know as the Knights of Columbus.