Affiliated Councils

Cardinal Sheehan of Baltimore, 205
St. Patrick , 370
Annapolis, 1384
Santa Maria, 1733
Patapsco, 1960
Havre de Grace, 2002
Bishop Becker, 2427
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 2452
Cardinal Gibbons, 2521
Notre Dame, 2901
Dundalk, 2942
Holy Trinity, 3413
St. Charles Borromeo, 3960
Madonna, 3964
Father O'Neill, 4011
Our Lady of Lourdes, 4606
Bel Air, 4714
Archbishop Curley, 5206
Immaculate Lady, 5208
Archbishop Keough, 5263
Monsignor Ripple, 5370
Woodlawn, 5466
Fr. Burggraff, 6021
Corpus Christi, 6188
Fr. Michael J. McGivney, 7025
Columbia, 7559
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, 7612
Fr. Joseph J. McManus, 7941
South County , 8251
Long Green Valley, 8736
St. Bartholomew, 9127
Santo Ni ñ o, 9462
Fr. Joseph J. Comyns, 9638
Our Lady of Grace, 9815
Mason-Dixon, 10100
Knights of Fatima, 10137
Fourteen Holy Martyrs , 10648
Ellicott City , 11341
Fr. Maurice J. Wolfe, 11372
St. Clement I, 11377
St. Andrew by the Bay, 11552
Fr. A. Leo Abendschoen, 11615
Bishop Carl Fisher, 11617
St. John Neumann, 11618
St. Matthew's International, 11787
Fr. Francis J. Flanigan, 11820
St. Louis the King, 11898
Cardinal Newman Council, 12001
Fr. Bernard Harding, 12180
St. Francis of Assisi, 12524
Our Lady of the Angels, 13069
St. Elizabeth of Hungary, 13073
St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, 13294
Mother M. Elizabeth Lange, 13573
John Paul the Great, 13859
Our Lady of La Vang, 13894
Resurrection of Our Lord, 14099
Sts. Philip and James, 14102
St. Vincent Palotti, 14535
Loyola University Maryland, 15000

Baltimore Chapter of Grand Knights
Chapter President, 2010-2011
Sam Orlando, PGK [2521]

The Baltimore Chapter of Grand Knights was founded in January, 1910.  A short historical synopsis follows.  The Baltimore Chapter meets the second Thursday of each month at one of the affiliated Councils on a rotating basis.  The Chapter serves as a forum for the exchange of information between Chapter Officers, Past Grand Knights, current Grand Knights and the Chair and Program Officers of the Maryland State Council . The Chapter also conducts an annual collection for the children at St. Vincent’s Child Care Center , Villa Maria and the Gallagher Center , and conducts a Christmas Party and Spring Picnic for them. The Chapter also has time-honored traditions of a members’ shrimp feast , Memorial Mass , adult Christmas Party , Honored Guests’ Night and Ladies’ Night . The current Chapter President is Sam Orlando; E-Mail: sorlando6 "AT" comcast "DOT" net  Past Grand Knight of Cardinal Gibbons Council #2521.


The Grand Knights of the six city Councils and their immediate predecessors met on Tuesday, January 18, 1910.  At this informal meeting, the Grand Knights took steps to meet on the Saturday following, and form themselves into a Chapter for the better conduct of affairs in the city. On Saturday, January 22, 1910, the Grand Knights of the six Councils in the Baltimore area met and organized the Chapter of Grand Knights of Baltimore. Grand Knight, James J. Lindsay of Baltimore Council No. 205 was elected President and Grand Knight, Dr. Frank J. Powers, of Maryland Council No. 370 was elected Secretary. The member Councils were: Baltimore No. 205, Calvert No. 352, Maryland No. 370, Marquette No. 380, American No. 493 and Carroll No. 1451, the newest Council in the State, having been instituted on December 5, 1909.

A Constitution and By-Laws were adopted and the regular meetings were held on the first Saturday of each month at the Knights of Columbus home. The object of the Chapter was, and still is, to further the interests of all of the Councils in the city and suburbs, and to work for the common good of the Order. The By-laws provided that the Chapter should be composed of the Grand Knights of the member Councils. Since a Treasurer was also provided for, Grand Knight, J. Leo Mueller of Carroll Council No. 1451 was elected to the post.

The Chapter flourished and became a permanent part of the Columbian scene in Baltimore. The Chapter took over the activities previously sponsored by local Councils acting together, and the first among these was the Annual Vespers Service. The Chapter took over the operation of the Orphan’s Santa Claus Party that had been functioning since 1905. Six hundred orphans attended and heard a Christmas message from His Eminence James Cardinal Gibbons and received his blessing.  The Honorable Charles J. Bonaparte, Secretary of the Navy, and the Honorable E. Clay Timanus, Mayor of Baltimore City, also addressed the children.

St. Mary’s Industrial School Band furnished the music for several years and the orchestra of Brothers Joseph and John Dowling of Maryland Council No. 370 served for several decades. Supreme Knight, James A. Flaherty, attended the Santa Claus Parties in 1913, 1914, 1915 and 1919. To the various Councils in the Order that he afterwards visited, he spoke of the Baltimore Orphan’s Santa Claus Party. A number of Knights of Columbus groups in various cities adopted the idea for the orphans of their own hometowns. Today, the parties are held at St. Vincent’s Center, The Gallagher Center and Villa Maria, both at Christmas and in the spring. Past State Deputy Edgar N. Ganster served as Chairman for fifty years until his death in 1959.

The Baltimore Chapter’s 50th Anniversary Dinner-Dance was held on February 11, 1960 at Notre Dame Council No. 2901. The history of the Chapter was also distributed at this event. This was the first of a long line of Anniversary Dinner-Dances and the first of our histories to be written.

In 1961, the title of Chairman was changed to President, the title of Vice-Chairman was changed to Vice-President and the Office of Marshal was added. The Chapter President’s jewel of office with a similar jewel for Past Presidents was adopted this year. The State Deputy has presented the Past President’s jewel each year since.

State Deputy Charles H. Zeunges installed the Chapter Officers at the September 1970 meeting at Our Lady of Lourdes Council. This was the first installation ceremony ever held. Past State Deputy, Francis G. McFarland, wrote it. A concelebrated Mass followed the ceremony.

The Chapter meeting in December of 1980 was a Christmas Party for the members and their wives at Holy Trinity Council. Each person brought a man or lady’s gift to exchange and some canned goods for baskets for the needy. There was dance music, singing of Christmas Carols and Santa Claus. This has become an annual Christmas Party.

On August 13, 1981, the new First Degree was exemplified for the first time in Maryland Saint Michael the Archangel (Courtesy, Supreme Council Website) at the Chapter’s Summer First Degree Meeting at Our Lady of Lourdes Council. The team from Bishop Sebastian Council did the honors for 41 candidates. These were the first candidates in Maryland for the 100th Anniversary Year of the Order. Father Richard P. Wojciechowski became Chapter Chaplain for the first time this year. The Summer First Degree was in his honor. Father Richard had served as Chaplain on the Council and District levels, as Friar on the Assembly level and as Associate Chaplain on the State level. Besides, he was Chaplain for the Fire and Police Departments.

In observance of the Chapter’s 75th Anniversary in 1985, a series of articles on the history of the Chapter and the coming 75th Anniversary were prepared by the General Chairman, Past State Deputy, Francis G. McFarland, and began to appear monthly in the State Bulletin and in Council bulletins. On Saturday, January 26, 1985, the Officers and Past Presidents placed a memorial wreath at the gravesite of our first President, James J. Lindsay, at Mount Maria Cemetery adjoining the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Towson.

On Sunday, January 27th, was held the Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen with His Excellency, Bishop John H. Ricard, S.S.J., Ph.D., concelebrating the Mass and preaching the homily. The combined Color Corps of all Assemblies in the First Maryland District participated. The Chapter Officers and the Past Presidents, along with the State Officers and the Officers of the Bishop McNamara Chapter of Grand Knights were seated in the sanctuary with their ladies. Bishop Ricard was the guest speaker.

The Baltimore Chapter is proud of the fact that seven Past Presidents have gone on to be State Deputy. They are: Edgar N. Ganster, Isaac S. George, George R. Callis, Jr., Joseph G. Loeffler, John J. Schwarz, Charles I. Reese and Andrew C. Bauer. Two Past State Deputies later became Chapter Presidents. They are: Frank A. Shallenberger and Francis G. McFarland. Two of these men also served in the three remaining Chief Executive Officer positions of Grand Knight, Faithful Navigator and Master; the only two to do so in the history of Maryland. They are Edgar N. Ganster and Francis G. McFarland.

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This webpage was last updated on: February 21, 2011

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