Our mission history

Council History of the Knights of Columbus Rockaway Council #2672

Due to the efforts of Rev. Joseph Curran of St. Camillus, the Rockaway Beach St. Camillus Council was formed in 1928 just prior to the great depression. The First Grand Knight Michael Gillespie, brought honor to the Council and was elected to State Warden in 1930.

From the start, the Council was very active in all matters affecting the community. For many years it was customary for the members of the Council to distribute Thanksgiving Day Baskets to the needy. Due to the Great Depression the Council’s work was restricted because of the financial adversity encountered by many members. In 1955 Council members included not only parishioners of St. Camillus, but St. Rose of Lima, St. Virgilius, and St. Francis DeSales as well; so it was then voted on to change the name from Rockaway Beach, St. Camillus Council to Rockaway Council #2672.

Over the years the Council had many homes on the peninsula. On October 25th 1958 through the efforts of many of its members, the council celebrated the opening of its home at 333 Beach 90 Street, where it is still located to this day. The name of the Council was again changed on November 6th 1995 from Rockaway Council #2672 to Monsignor William F. Burke, Rockaway Council #2672. This was in dedication to Monsignor Burke who served as the Councils Chaplin from 1948 to 2005. The Council is still active in providing services to many members and organizations of the community.

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The Structure of The Knights of Columbus


The Halls

Two levels of space

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The Four Degrees within The Knights of Columbus…

Charity, Unity, fraternity, and on lesson of….

Degrees of the Knights of Columbus

  • First Degree – A First Degree exemplification ceremony, by which a man joins the Order, explicates the virtue of charity. After the completion he is then said to be a First Degree Knight of Columbus and then can participate in all council activities and subsequent degrees. First Degree members are encouraged to attain the Second and Third Degrees.
  • Second Degree – The Second Degree ceremony explicates the virtue of unity. The member can then go on to attain their third degree and become a full member.
  • Third Degree – The Third Degree ceremony explicates the virtue fraternity. Upon taking the Third Degree, a member receives full honors of Knighthood and is “Knighted.”
  • Fourth Degree – The Fourth Degree imparts a lesson on the virtue of ________. The primary purpose of this degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism in members and the community at large and encourage active Catholic citizenship. To become a Fourth Degree member must have valid membership in the Knights of Columbus for one year and be a Third Degree Member

A Fourth Degree Knight may become part of the assembly’s color corps. These members are recognized widely by their distinctive attire: tuxedo, feathered hat (chapeau), cape, and sword. These members regularly take part in civic events such as parades and wreath-laying ceremonies, and functions at Catholic churches. The various colored capes and chapeau feathers denote different officer positions within the Fourth Degree.