MOUNT CARMEL - Knights of Columbus Bishop Lawrence F. Schott Council 628 of Mount Carmel held a First Degree ceremony at its home on Aug. 15.

Eleven new Knights from the Mount Carmel Council, Cardinal Mindszenty Council 458 of Shamokin, Msgr, Joseph J.C. Petrovits Council 4281 of Kulpmont and Father Slough Council 14161 of Elysburg, received the degree.

Those who were initiated were Logan McCracken and Leonard Shreck, of Mount Carmel; the Rev. Stepan Bilyk, Jason Dampman, Rosario Graci and Christopher Walczak, of Shamokin; Brent Taggert, of Kulpmont, and Timothy Bradley, Daniel Danglovitch Jr., Christopher Gedman and Bryan Terry, of Elysburg.

Dignitaries in attendance were David Shinskie, District 54 deputy and grand knight of Council 4281, David Berezovske, grand knight of Council 628, Louis Odorizzi, grand knight of Council 14161, and the Very Rev. Francis Karwacki, chaplain of the Mount Carmel council.

Also present was James Bailoni, newly appointed master of Pennsylvania Central District of the Fourth Degree. A member of the Mount Carmel council, Bailoni is the first member of the council to be appointed to this high office. The degree team was led by George Kroutch, and the choir was under the direction of Michael Skopatz.

The Knights of Columbus is the largest Catholic lay organization in the world with more than 1.7 million members in more than 13,000 councils. Those men 18 years or older, who are practicing Catholics in union with the Holy See are eligible to join. The principles of the Order are charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. Those interested in becoming Knights should contact the council in their area.