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Knights of Columbus returns to JCU, honors the Rev. Bernie McAniff

November 25th, 2014

The John Carroll University chapter of the Knights of Columbus was reinstated on Thursday, Nov. 20 when it welcomed nine new members into the council.

The Knights of Columbus is a worldwide Catholic men’s fraternal benefits society, which upholds the values of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism.

The John Carroll chapter held its first degree inductions in Rodman Hall on Nov. 20. The first degree is an introduction of the candidates to the existing council, the history of the Knights and the main values for which they stand. Diocesan District Deputy Coordinator George Metz came to campus to assist with the first degree.

“The council is very energetic and will grow. I am happy with it,” Metz said.

The JCU chapter has been inactive for five years. Last year, the chapter was reinstated. Council member Brian Botti said, “Having a Knights of Columbus chapter brings something to campus that is service and faith based.”

To be eligible to become a Knight, you must be a male who is at least 18 years old and is a practicing Catholic. This means you must attend Mass regularly and believe in the Ten Commandments.

JCU’s chapter currently has between 25 and 30 members. President of the chapter, senior Jose Esparaza said, “I am excited we have more members. Now we can do more things as far as service and living out the mission to be men for others.”

After the first degree, council members and the JCU community honored the Rev. Bernie McAniff, S.J. at a reception. Graduate student Annelise Kostyo said, “Fr. Bernie is a great guy. He is one of a kind.”

McAniff is the assistant dean of students, as well as the chaplain of the Knights of Columbus and the entire JCU community.

“I am very honored by [the reception],” McAniff said. “It is in conjunction with the first degree and I am thrilled with the amount of new members. It is a great sign for the future.”

There are a total of four degrees a Knight can make. Each degree is one step closer to full knighthood. After making the third degree, a member is considered a full-fledged knight.

According to Esparaza, “You can better yourself as a Catholic man. [You are able to] capitalize your leadership skills and live out the Catholic faith by the service that you do.”

Right now, the council is offering snow shoveling services to the University, Gesu and the community of University Heights. The group is also encouraging others to attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C. this January.