The application of a new member is reviewed by the local Commandery’s Screening Committee and their recommendation is brought before entire Commandery for a vote to either approve of or disapprove the candidacy of the prospective member. Once approved he is invited to attend the next General Membership Meeting at which time he will receive his 1st Degree of membership.
The Candidate is led into the meeting room and presented to the President and the members. The Ritual of this Degree is secret and is conducted during the course of the General Membership Meeting. It is here that he learns of the history of the Knights of St. John, takes the oath of membership and receives the secret password of the Order.
2nd & 3rd Degree
Once the member has been active in the Order for approximately one year and has proven himself to be a valued member, he is qualified to take the 2nd & 3rd Degrees.
These Degrees are taken at the same time and exemplified as part of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Concelebrated with all the the chaplains participating. The candidates, their family and friends, members of the knights and parish members are all encouraged to participate in this Eucharistic Celebration.
4th Degree- Order of the Chevalier
This Degree is for Uniformed Members only. A member must be a Full Dress Uniformed Member or an Approved Marching Uniform Member to be eligible for the Fourth Degree. A knight must have taken the Fourth Degree and be in uniform to witness this degree.
This degree promotes the uniform feature of the Knights of St.John and prepares the individual member to stand above the norm in his Catholic participation in his Church and the Order.
In order to take the Fourth Degree Investiture, the applicant must be a uniformed member of a local Commandery, in good standing for a period of at least three years, and he must have been initiated in the first, second,and third degrees of the order. His uniform must be an accepted uniform of the Order, in good condition, and must pass inspection. His moral character shall be above reproach in his community, and his loyalty to the Order unquestioned. He shall make application for the Degree on the prescribed application forms, signed and approved by his Commander and Financial Secretary of his local Commandery.
The fifth and highest degree. is the ultimate honor to be bestowed upon members of the Knights of St. John International, for their long and meritorious service to the Order and the Holy Mother, the Church. This degree is conferred upon such members, as may be found worthy, by the Bishop of the Diocese, in the Cathedral of the Diocese, or designated place, “in conjunction with the Noble Grand Master, the Officers of the Temple and the Noble Degree Team”.
To be eligible , Officers and Sir Knights of the Uniformed Rank, who by their public display of their Catholicity, have contributed so greatly to the ecclesiastical functions of the Roman Catholic Church and to the Knights of St. John International, must have been in uniform for a full ten (10) consecutive years.
Non-uniformed members and honorary members, who have labored long and faithfully in the service of the Knights of St. John International and our Holy Mother, the Church, or who may have made usual contributions of their time or talents to the Order, should be a member for fifteen (15) consecutive years or more.
Members of the Roman Catholic Clergy, who have served as a Chaplain, a Spiritual Advisor, or who may have contributed to the success of our Order, may make application in writing and shall have the approval of the Bishop, to qualify for this degree.
The Jewel of Honor is the ideal method to honor a member for his outstanding service, devotion, and dedication to the Order. The Honor comes in two versions, one for a Military member and another for a Non-Military member. To order either of the Jewels of Honor, a letter requesting same should be sent to the Supreme Secretary outlining the candidate’s qualifications for the Jewel.
The Supreme Secretary will review the application letter and resume and advise the requester the cost of the award and how to proceed further.
Jewel of Honor-
- Is a member of the uniformed rank for fifteen (15) years and is a member of a drill team for ten (10) years……….OR
- Is a member of the uniformed rank for twelve (12) years, served two (2) terms as a Field or Staff Officer of the Supreme, Grand or District Commandery; or three (3) terms as an elected military officer of a Local Commandery.
- Is a member of his Commandery for twenty five (25) years and holds a Commandery office for fifteen (15) years,
- In addition to the above, gives unselfishly of his time and service to Holy Mother Church or his Parish , or Community.
Jewel of Honor-
To qualify, a Non-Uniformed Member must have been in good standing with the Knights of St. John International for twenty-five (25) consecutive years. He must have been exemplified into the First, Second, Third and Noble Degrees. He must be active in Commandery functions, participated in Commandery Church functions, participated in Commandery Committees, either as a worker or chairperson: and must have helped the Community and Commandey with Charitable Programs.
If any person has accomplished the above mentioned qualifications, the Local Commandery President may ask the candidate to fill in the application and write a resume concerning his membership and activities in the Commandery and Community and present same to the Commandery President. The Board of Trustees of the Commandery will review the application and if found to be in order the application form will be signed by the Commandery President and the Commandery Secretary.
When signed by the Commandery Officers it must be sent to the office of the the Supreme Secretary for his review and if found to be in order, the Local Commandery may purchase the Jewel of Honor from the Supreme Secretary for presentation to that member.