Starting the Year Right

We gathered with the Durham Assembly Knights for a joint dinner and to recognize our parish priests. Knights dressed to impress their wives and family and we all looked really good.

How about you? Did you miss the dinner? We hope you can join us next time and every time the call goes out…”Dear Brother Knight.” Participating in meetings, gatherings, projects, and in all programs and projects of the parish ensures our growth. Take a look at the show below and see what you missed.

Visiting Caldwell on July 4th

Lots and lots of things to share, good conversation, and cold cans of Seagram’s Ginger Ale, made a couple of Brother Knights (Gil and Lee) enjoy a country, small town parade led by our very members carrying “Old Glory.”

Here are pictures for you to see what you missed. The second photo is a short movie of the parade start!

THE CALDWELL PARADE, by a “Dear Brother Knight.”

July 4th Parade in Caldwell



Sir Knights and Brothers, we have settled on the key times for assembling and decorating the float for the Caswell parade. The Assembly will assemble the Knights of Columbus trailer on Friday July 1 at 4 PM

Please meet us behind the Parish Hall to help put the plywood on the trailer and make any other preparations we can prior to the parade. We need all the help we can get for this short task and we can be done within an hour.  

The day of the Parade (Monday, July 4th) we will have the float at the firehouse (7020 Guess Road (just before the intersection of Hwy 57) at 9:00 AM to finish attaching the flags and other decorations.  We need lots of hands for this. Also, bring some water with you. We will have some at the end of the parade waiting for us.

How can you get ready for Friday? Here is the list of items needed for this effort from SK Don Williams’ e-mail below with some edits for were we stand.  If you got anything listed, please bring it.

“What to bring during prep and day of:”

  • Portable screwdrivers  (need 2 or 3)
  • Black and white zip ties of different sizes
  • Painters tape if you want to protect vehicle surface from scratches
  • Vise grips and/or needle nose pliers to remove damaged screws
  • Staple gun with staples (anyone have one?)
  • Knife or scissors to cut whatever is needed (bring your blades)
  • Decorations (there are some in the shed) – red, white and blue (SK David Kuboushek will provide)
  • Bungle cords
  • Candy (SK Andy Sciacca will provide some of the best candy ever)

Dress will be Khaki shorts and dark blue 4th degree T-shirts or our bright blue council shirt.  Hats if you got them.  I believe we will all be riding (either inside or in the back of SK Tom Clifton’s truck) after we have decorated it nice and pretty. 

SK Tom Clifton and I thank you in advance for your help at both the 4 PM trailer preparation and the Monday parade.  Remember many hands make short work. 

Growing Our Own

Leaders aren’t born. You may have read this quote or heard about it. It goes on to say that leaders are made. Do you know who said these words?

Hint… He was a famous Catholic, too.

He was Vince Lombardi. Here is a quote about him. “The three constants throughout Lombardi’s life were his Roman Catholic faith, his family, and football. His father was a daily Communicant throughout his life and his mother’s favorite picture of Vince as a child was on his Confirmation…” Read more

He was playing football before World War II. Many of our younger Knights got their start in life maybe 40 or more years later. “Back in the day….” Vince was our Coach K.

So, where is this writer going with the tale? He is approaching his 8th decade and he is trying to come up with something that rocks the ground under our Council and Assembly to create an awareness that nothing happens without a spark. A spark from a driven Knight to assume a training leadership role this year so that as our older members “age out,” they have an opportunity to pass on their skills to our newest members. He may also be the new Knight that you encourage to join our Council.

“What got into Lee?,” you ask? Well this writer was recruited by Gene Drogos, Jerry Pilarski, and Thomas Chegash. (They not only recruited me for the new Council, but as a member of our church and three veterans groups…not to include joining the Fourth Degree.” We lost two of these Knights this past year and one is now in Hospice. Tom’s story will be shared with you soon….

Each of these guys were on active duty. Two World War II (Army and Navy) and one was Korea-Vietnam era Navy. All three were recruiters and not because of the office they held, but because of a deep love for their Church and taking responsibility for its success. All three were founding members of Council 10910.

Your new officer team, led by Chris Kremer, and assisted by the Durham Assembly, is eager to energize the Knights. We are now Post-COVID and ready to get busier to help our parish and Catholic community. So remember, time flies…. “TEMPUS FUGIT, MEMENTO MORI

by Lee Heavlin

Heavlin Honored by Assembly


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Sir Knight Lee Heavlin was awarded a Divine Mercy Assembly Certificate of Appreciation for his past exemplary services as Faithful Navigator and as Scribe. The award was presented
at Lee and Yoli’s home due to Covid-19 restrictions. This award is way overdue! Lee was the founding father of Assembly 3005!

Without Lee’s dedication in establishing an Assembly in Chapel Hill we would all be driving to Burlington still or northern Durham. Lee’s strong leadership set the Assembly on a firm footing that all succeeding Faithful Navigators would follow!

Lee is a 30-year Navy veteran and has had a strong presence with the VFW and American Legion Posts in Chapel Hill. He has been Post Commander and was instrumental in the planning of a new Post Home for the American Legion Chapel Hill Post on NC Highway 54 West.

Many VFW local, district, and state activities were conducted at the same time Lee was creating Assembly 3005. A tremendous achievement! Lee is a true leader! His guidance and direction have led to many accomplishments in both the Assembly and Council. Congratulations Lee!

Jim Boyd Honored


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Jim Boyd was honored this week by Faithful Navigator William Jackson.  Jim received an Assembly Certificate of Appreciation for his past service as our Faithful Navigator and as a Trustee.

Jim is very active in our Catholic Community of St. Thomas More and you will find him “everywhere.”  Jim is a long-time member of the Choir, serves as a Eucharistic  Minister, visits the sick, cleans roadways, volunteers serve the parish ministries, and so much more.

They say that if you lead, they will follow.  This is very true with Jim.  Congratulations, Jim!

Fr. Chris Koehn Honored


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Reverend Christopher Koehn was recognized his past week with a Certificate of Appreciation for his service in Divine Mercy Assembly, 3005.  Faithful Navigator William Jackson presented him with a certificate and a mantel clock.  Joining in the well-wishing was Past Faithful Navigators Jim Boyd and Lee Heavlin.

We are sure that Fr. Chris will also have a story to tell about receiving the award and memento wearing a mask like the Lone Ranger.


Change is often a time of sadness, but more often it is a time for renewal, new opportunities and growth.  The latter is the case for Reverend Christopher S. Koehn.  He was recently the recipient of the following news from Most Reverend Luis Rafael Zarama, Bishop of Raleigh.

“Reverend Christopher S. Koehn, Parochial Vicar at Saint Thomas More Parish in Chapel Hill, is appointed Administrator of Saint Mary Magdalene Parish in Apex.”

We knew that his time at the Catholic Community of St. Thomas More would eventually end and that another parish would welcome him.  The time is now.   Two years have come and gone way too fast.

We are very proud of Father Koehn and know that he will enjoy serving at Saint Mary Magdalene Parish.

Father Chris has touched many, many lives in our town.  He has left an indelible mark at our Parish and we are the better for having him with us.  We know that he is ready for the new challenges before him.

Luckily for our Assembly, Father Chris will serve as our Faithful Friar for another year.

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