RUTLAND - It was a warm and sunny Indian Summer-like day as 44 men from around Vermont were "knighted" at Christ the King Church in Rutland, Nov. 8. The men, degreed members of the Knights of Columbus, received the international Catholic lay order's fourth-degree honors along with a parchment certificate; the men were each dubbed with the official title of sir knight.
Members of the Msgr. John Brown Assembly 1122 sported formal tuxedos and white sashes as they attended a special ceremony blessed by Bishop Salvatore Matano of Vermont. The men were led into the church by fellow, caped and naval chapeaued knights. Bishop Matano presided over a special mass which followed the knighting service.
Several cadets from Norwich University were in attendance, also in preparation to be knighted. Instead of tuxedos, the cadet-knights wore the Vermont college's distinctive, 19th century-style blue military uniform.
Spouses and family members attended mass following the private, official knighting ceremony. A formal dinner at the Franklin Center in the Howe Center followed the day's colorful event.
Knighted members of Assembly 1122 included Karl Andersen, Richard Blongy, Edward Clark, Leo Fairbanks, David Giancola, Peter Giancola, Robert Holland, Casey McNeil, Rev. Ray Thibodeau, Thomas Valente, Louis Varricchio and Stephen Waite.
Throughout most of its 127-year history, the Knights of Columbus have focused quietly on selfless devotion to family, church, community, and nation. Nationwide, knights provide active support to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Membership in the Knights of Columbus is at an all time high both here and abroad, according to the K of C website.