Just before the Pandemic of 2020, the Knights of Columbus combined the individual degree ceremonies, called exemplifications into a single exemplification entitled the Exemplification of Charity, Unity and Fraternity, signifying the Order's first three principles. Before that, these "degrees" were conferred through individual ceremonies and it might take a prospective Knight several months to attain full Knighthood in our Order. Simplifying the process, they took the most meaningful parts of each degree and combined it into a single ceremony.
Originally, the ceremony and ceremonial paraphernalia of these degrees were secret and members had to pledge not to reveal any of the workings of the degree. Seeing the beauty of the degree and wishing to endear family members to the Order, they opened the degree to anyone who would like to attend and family members of the candidates were the first to be invited.
Once the pandemic took hold, this combined degree was only offered virtually. Councils have been gradually getting back to some degree of normality. The Council recognized the beauty and formality of the degree; especially when conducted in the Church, and formed a Degree Team.
On October 18, the Degree Team led by Peter Sikora conducted its first "live" degree since COVID shut down all face-to-face encounters. Although we only had one candidate due to the other candidate's work schedule, the degree was attended by the candidates family and some observers. Fr. Andrzej Miter was the presiding Chaplain and Lou Manz, Grand Knight was the Presiding Officer. Christ Hutter was the Warden, Degree Team Leader, Peter Sikora was the Presenter on Charity, David Counts was the Presenter on Unity. and Dan Costello, substituting for Joel Kendrick was the Presenter on Fraternity.
The candidate was Robert Kowzack. Members of the team, the candidate and his family, and a few observers enjoyed appetizers at La Nopalera after the degree concluded.
Photos provided by Francis Vallencourt, Council photographer.