The Navigator’s Compass



Our Faithful Navigator is ending his third year as “leader and guide” of our Assembly.  Like a ship’s commanding officer, the Navigator has a unique and critical job.  The Navy’s officer title is described this way. “The navigator’s primary responsibility is to be aware of ship position at all times. Responsibilities include planning the journey, advising the captain of estimated timing to destinations while en route, and ensuring hazards are avoided.”  Yes, his job is critical.  Without a keen navigator a ship drifts, it can lose its way, and it can enter into a storm or troubled waters.

I applaud the men of the Knights of Columbus who step forward to assume leadership positions.  The Order provides us with central control and guidance to lead from the top, but it is from the local Councils and Assemblies that the real work is done and accomplished.  Thousands of councils and assemblies are laying the bricks that join other efforts to accomplish great things.

Fourth Degree Assemblies are “Religiously Devoted, Patriotically Proud.”  Those words well describe Bill Jackson, our Faithful Navigator.  He has done much to guide us safely and aggressively through the past three assembly years.  Here we share with you, candidates of the Fourth Degree and Council, and other parish ministries our work.  It comes from the final report of our Faithful Navigator, Bill Jackson.

“Worthy Brothers…I now conclude my third year as your Faithful Navigator. I wanted to share some thoughts regarding those three years. These have been a wonderful three years for me. With the help of all of you, we accomplished many things. We increased our ranks of Sir Knights through new Knights and through transfers. We stayed true to our mission of Patriotism, supporting homeless veterans with winter coats and gift cards, attending the Durham VA Hospital Voluntary Services Committee, participating in the Caldwell, NC, 4th of July Parades, and providing prayers for military personnel, veterans, and their families at every Assembly meeting.

We conducted Spaghetti Dinner and Christmas Raffle Ticket fundraisers to support veterans, seminarians, and the St. Michael the Defender Ministry to provide safety and security at St. Thomas More Parish and the St. Thomas More School. We provided honor guard services for funerals, confirmations, and other Parish and School events.

The Assembly awarded Citizenship awards to St. Thomas More School students who demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, and citizenship each of the last three years. Through emails and a well-managed website we communicated events, successes, and meeting notices to all Sir Knights.

Our Faithful Friar, Rev. Chris Koehn, a Sir Knight as well, provided all of us with spiritual guidance and support at all times.

The Assembly obtained the Civic Award this past year from Supreme for our four Patriotic events during the fraternal year. The Assembly hosted the Divine Mercy Sunday devotion each year, providing the tapestry and honor guard.

Sadly, we lost several Brother Knights and/or family members during my tenure, These Brothers and their family members were instrumental in making Assembly 3005 a success each year! They all will continue to be missed but will remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Finally, I want to thank each and every one of you for stepping up when I needed your help with a project or event. I am honored to call you all friends and brothers! May the Lord watch over all of you and your loved ones!

Vivat Jesus, Bill Jackson”

As we say in the Navy, Bill,  BRAVO ZULU  — Translation: Well Done!

Download a copy of the Faithful Navigator’s May/June Message

We’re Only Old on the Outside


Each year at about this time we go on our search for assembly leadership for the coming year.  Bill Jackson is stepping down as our Faithful Navigator and will soon be, if elected, our newest Council Grand Knight… for a second time.

He asked for wise counsel.  That means he already asked Sue what  she thought.  His guru and fellow knight thought a while and answered in just a few words.  A few simple words that don’t provide an answer.  The words are reflective and ask the listener to look deep inside.  He said:

“Leadership is what they need. Love and understanding sets the standard. Fun doing it builds a group. It is the”fabric of our lives.”  But, Bill already knew that and so did Sue.

You see great men and women look at tough times as opportunities.  They just get up in the morning and “get going.”  How about you?  Are you looking for an opportunity in discipleship?  Your church needs you–especially as we deal with the consequences of Covid-19.  He is calling us, still.

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”  Isaiah 6:8


Passing of Joel Lipsey

Don Williams shared with us the following about today’s loss of their Assembly’s Past Faithful Navigator, Joel Lipsey.

FN Joel Lipsey“It is with sadness that I can report on the passing of Sir Knight Joel Lipsey shortly after noon today.  He was taken off life support around 11:30 a.m. and expired about 40 minutes later.   In the end, his lungs, which had been so problematic for him for more than 10 years, couldn’t work well enough for him to be able to live without a respirator.  With Joel was his wife Cathy, a Duke chaplain, Karen Morrissette, assorted nurses, and Christine and I.     It was a peaceful transition into the arms of his Lord.

To honor Joel’s love for his country, those gathered sang two of our Knights of Columbus Assembly’s standard songs shortly after he passed:   America the Beautiful and God Bless America.   Joel will be interned at the National cemetery in Salisbury and his funeral activities will be handled through Hudson’s.   Note that dates and other arrangements are uncertain though given the present Covid-19 issue.

Joel joined the military at 16 (he fudged his age so he could get in) and was once stationed in Canada as a radar officer directing fighter planes to intercept Soviet bombers during the Cold war.   While he was a patriot and an airman, Joel felt that war was a terrible tragedy and never glorified war.  He truly loved his country though and was proud to have defended her.  He was an officer for local chapters of the Civil Air Patrol and American Legion.  After his military service Joel proudly worked as fire safety engineer for Underwriter’s Laboratory for well more than 3 decades.

Joel recently served as the Msgr. William F. O’Brien Assembly’s Faithful Navigator and Color Corps Commander and was a Lecturer at St. Matthew. ”

Divine Mercy Assembly members share in their grief.  Joel was a fixture in the Chapel Hill veterans’ arena as a veteran’s advocate, a veterans service officer, and so much more.  We were amazed at his tenacity, hard work, and  participation in local community events up until the end.  He gave witness to discipleship through service to others.  We join Don and his Sir Knights as asks, “Please pray for Cathy and for the repose of his soul.”  Amen

The Golden Plume Newsletter


News of the Assembly and all North Carolina Assemblies are found on-line at the website under the “4th Degree” link.  We highly recommend you take a look at the January 2020 edition and archived editions.  There are lots of informative stories there.

This month’s edition has information on honor guard attire.  We get questions about use of the old regalia.  Sorry, but it is no longer authorized.  Read the story for details.

One brother knight sent a note to the our blogmaster about regalia for a funeral.  He was concerned that some Sir Knights might not have the new regalia and would not be able to honor the deceased.  The answer is also provided in the regalia article, but in summary,  if you do not have the 4th Degree Regalia (there is only one now, the new uniform, no exceptions), a Sir Knight should wear a dark suit or blazer to the funeral.  The important thing for us is to ensure that we recognize the family’s loss and participate in the wake or funeral.  Learn more  

To order regalia click here.

Assembly Receives Civic Award

District Master Jack Murray visited our Assembly on January 22nd to present us with the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Civic Award.  Bill  Jackson received the award and beamed with pride as he accepted the award on behalf of all Sir Knights of the Assembly.


“The Civic Award is presented annually as a tribute to the spirit of patriotism and national pride exemplified in the patriotic activities conducted by Fourth Degree Assemblies. Assemblies conducting a minimum of four (4) different patriotic programs during the fraternal year are eligible for the Supreme council Civic Award.”

Jerry Pilarski Honored

Jerry Pilarski has been a lifelong member of the Knights of Columbus, a charter member of both Council 10910 and Divine Mercy Assembly, 3005.

img_20200122_194309This month he was honored by Faithful Navigator Bill  Jackson, during District Master Jack Murray’s visit, with a Lifetime Membership with the Fourth Degree.

We salute Jerry.  He has served our council and Assembly with tenacity, dedication, and drive.  Never for self, but for our church community.

Let’s take a look at some of the events, friends, and service in Jerry’s contributions to discipleship…

Seminarian Receives Award


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Divine Mercy Assembly 3005 had a very successful Christmas Raffle to support local seminarians in the Raleigh Diocese.  This year the Assembly selected Tyler Sparrow as the 2019 Award Recipient.

Faithful Navigator Bill Jackson, joined by Mike Pacilio, presents award to seminarian Tyler Sparrow.

Seminarian education is funded by the diocese, but personal disposable income is at a premium.  The Assembly’s cash award of $500 is sure to be a highlight during the Christmas holiday and Spring demister for Tyler.

The Knights of Columbus, through its local councils and assemblies, has been and continues to provide financial and service assistance to the many seminarians across our nation and foreign lands.  In addition, the Knights of Columbus, headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut, provides partial matching funds to promote support of seminarians.

To learn more about the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh’s seminarian program, click here.

Learn more about our seminarian.

New Regalia Now Available


Looking to look sharp with the new uniform?  Not able to wear the century-old old uniform?  No problem.

We understand that the cost of this Italian-made suit is now $100 lower than the original shipments.  We can’t guarantee the price, but you can learn more by visiting the uniform store.

Visit the Knights of Columbus Uniform store.  Just click here

“… Now that’s a spicy mea’ta ball!”

It’s time for our Second Annual Assembly Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser.  It’s just like grandma made in the old country (Jersey, New York, and Boston?)  Maybe that is a little stretch, but is is a fine dinner and we are going to have a hundred or more happy mother’s taking a night off to dine with us.
This dinner will be held from 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm on January 24th in the Friends and Family Hall.  You can also stop in and takeout dinner for your home or sports event tailgate.
The dinner is co-sponsored between Assembly 3005, Council 10910, and the St. Michael the Defender Ministry.  Your attendance will benefit all.
Look for advance ticket sales.  Don’t like to attend but want to support our programs…?  We’ll even sell you some tickets and you can save them as a souvenir or let us put your ticket in the hands of someone who can’t afford a night out.
Fun time…  The picture above is a screenshot from a very popular Alka-Seltzer commercial from about 50 years ago.  Click on it for a “hoot” from our youth and early “in living color” television.