On Saturday, August27, 2022, the Knights of St John International (KSJI) held their Noble Degree Exemplification at St Michael’s Church, Union, New Jersey, United States of America (USA). The ceremony was celebrated by the Most Rev. Elias R. Lorenzo O.S.B, Bishop for Union County and Vicar General, Archdiocese of Newark.
He was assisted by Monsignor Anselm Nwaorgu (the Spiritual Adviser of KSJI New York Grand), and a host of other priests including Rev Dr Erasmus Okere (Spiritual Adviser of Commandery 680, Newark), and Rev Peter Iwuala (Spiritual Adviser District 4 New York Grand. Incidentally, all three of Advisers are recipients of the Noble Degree.
The event commenced with a dinner reception organized by Monsignor Anselm Nwaorgu for the visiting Supreme and Supreme Subordinate officers who had arrived the previous evening. The Noble Degree is the fifth (5th) and highest degree, 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.
For the first time in the history of the Order, a total number of 100 members were Exemplified and this is made up of the Knights, Ladies Auxiliary, priests and the Bishop. There were speeches by the Supreme President, General Frank Wesleski, the Interim Supreme Secretary Major General Chijioke Okafor, the Supreme Secretary Emeritus Lt Gen Tom Dzanowicz, Brig Gen Dale Gossiaux, Supreme Subordinate President Brig Gen Brian Stehlin, Brig. Gen Titus Osuagwu – Chairman of the Noble Degree Committee as well as Lady Iris Turner – Supreme Respected President, Ladies Auxiliary, Knights of St John International.
Other officers who were present to grace the occasion include: Major Gen Martin Bella – Supreme Trustee, Brig Gen Emmanuel Toe – Supreme Subordinate 2nd Vice President USA, Col Paul Jasper, Trustee, US Subordinate Commandery and Lady Pauline Opara, New York Grand Respected President, Ladies Auxiliary, among other distinguished personalities.
Members, like the Supreme Subordinate Secretary, Brig Gen Francis Balla Kollie, have continued to praise the successful organization and hosting of the 2022 Noble Degree Exemplification by the Ritual Director, the Interim Supreme Secretary – Major Gen Chijioke Okafor, the under-secretary Ritual and President New York Grand Commandery, Brig Gen Richard Morse ably represented by the New York Grand Secretary, Col Dave Wilson, Major Charles Igwebuike, the District 4 Commander, and more especially the Noble Degree Committee members headed by Brig Gen Titus Osuagwu as Chairman, 1st Lt Lawrence Ibe as Secretary, Captain Don Anigbogu – Commander, Commandery 680 Newark, 2nd Lt John Akwuobi of Commandery 626, New York, 2nd Lt Anthony Anijah – Paymaster, Captain Umezurike Madu of 676, Trenton as well as Captain Theo Sule of Commandery 960, Newark.
The event was rounded off with a party for the Brothers and Sisters who came from all over the United States and Canada. Chairman of the Noble Degree Exemplification – Brig Gen Titus Osuagwu gave a vote of thanks while the Spiritual Adviser of New York Grand Commandery, the Rev Dr Monsignor Anselm Nwaorgu said the closing prayers for the historic event.