At the State Deputy meeting in November 2019, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson announced a historic moment for the Order — the introduction of a new and groundbreaking combined exemplification ceremony, highlighting the principles of charity, unity and fraternity. Here are excerpts from his speech.
A new generation of Knights
“We must forge a new generation of Knights — men who see in our principles of charity, unity and fraternity a path to leading a Catholic way of life that can strengthen their families, their parishes and their communities. We must reach a new generation of men by the witness of our charity, our brotherhood and our ceremonials.”
Inspire the men of our day
“Just as our forefathers rallied to meet the challenges of their day, we must inspire the men of our day. We must reach out to meet these men where they are. And when we do, we must show them that they are called to be men of Charity, Unity and Fraternity. Because of this we are acting to make our Order more inviting and more accessible.”
Article originally published in Knightline, a monthly resource for K of C leaders and members. To access Knightline archives, click here.
“Early in the new year we will offer a new exemplification ceremony. … This new ceremonial is rooted in our past and tailored to our present. It will inspire more men to join us. Most of all, it will empower the Knights of Columbus to advance our mission and grow in the years ahead.”
Why the change
“In recent decades, we have found it harder to bring men, especially young fathers, into the Order. When we ask them why, they tell us three ceremonies are too time-consuming and too difficult to attend. They tell us that secrecy is unnecessary.”
“Many local councils lack ceremonial teams or the manpower to organize degrees. This means many candidates wait far too long to fully join our ranks. Some give up. Too many never take their Second and Third Degrees. Last year, only little more than half of the men who took their First Degree also took their Third Degree.”
How the change came about
“Our most recent supreme convention adopted a resolution from Illinois to consider combining our current First, Second and Third Degree ceremonies into one and removing the condition of secrecy. … We undertook an inclusive process with supreme directors, state officers and ceremonialists with many decades of experience in the exemplification of our degrees.”
What the new exemplification looks like
“Instead of having separate ceremonies, all three degrees can now be conferred in a single ceremony. The new exemplification focuses on the history and principles of our Order. It presents a fuller and richer understanding of who we are, what we stand for and what we are called to be. It hearkens back to the simple ceremonies of Unity and Charity first approved by Father McGivney. Our new ceremony can be held in a council chamber or in the parish with families and friends seated in the pews. They will see firsthand, the organization that their husbands, fathers, brothers, sons and friends are joining — the principles and values they are committing to and why it matters.”
This is an excerpt from the supreme knight’s address, which can be found in full in Columbia magazine.
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