Brother Knights:

I’m writing you this message as your immediate past State Deputy, as Supreme Director for Cere-monials, and as a Brother Knight and friend. Fifteen months ago, when I accepted the position as Ceremonials Director, I had only a vague idea of what this job entailed. What I did know is that I was making a commitment that would require some tough choices. I also knew that I was prepared to do whatever was required of me. This would be an opportunity and if I passed it up, I would nev-er know what I missed. So I took a leap of faith.

It’s been quite an experience. I’ve visited brother knights in every Canadian province. I’ve met and worked with Ceremonial teams and with the members of hosting councils. I’ve made many very good friends and I’ve been very warmly received by hardworking, dedicated, and friendly Brother Knights. There’s always someone who has a relationship of one kind or another with Saskatche-wan. Suffice to say that where ever I’ve gone in Canada, people have good feelings about us and our province. The only down side of this job is that I’m gone almost every weekend and am not able to work with the Brother Knights in Saskatchewan as much as I would like to.

Ceremonials are very important to our Order and to our members. They are the “mission and vision statements for the Order and they have a spiritual impact on the life of the candidates and the mem-bers who witness our degrees.” Basically, they define what it means to be a Knight of Columbus. The lessons are presented clearly and eloquently.

The manner in which we conduct our ceremonials must reflect our sincere belief and commitment to the Order and to our Brother Knights. We must be prepared so that we can leave the candidates with a favorable impression of the Order and of our Council. When a man decides to join the Knights of Columbus, he’s taking a leap of faith. He’s likely to have seen or heard things about the Knights that have led him to taking that important step. It is then up to us to show him that he’s made the right decision. The manner in which we conduct his ceremonials will make a powerful and lasting impression on him. They must be impressive and conducted with dignity. They must start on time, be well organized, follow the proper protocol, and make the candidates feel welcomed.

Remember that the purpose of our ceremonials is edify the candidates, not the degree team. We do this totally for them. Therefore, we need to accommodate them by holding frequent degrees scheduled at convenient times for them. They should not need to travel long distances to take their degrees. That means that we need more ceremonial teams. Please consider being part of a team. Welcoming new members to the Order and helping them learn about our Order is one of the most gratifying and satisfying things that one can do. It is an excellent way of making a valuable contribu-tion to the Order and to your Brother Knights.

Finally, I’d like to congratulate and thank all the members of the ceremonial teams in Saskatchewan. They give their time selflessly, never grudgingly, sometimes requiring them to travel considerable distances, to welcome new members or to advance members to higher degrees. Our teams need to be commended for their dedication and commitment.

Connie and I wish you all a very blessed and happy Christmas.

Denis Carignan
Field Director Ceremonials Canada