The Chalice Program, headed by Chairman Kurt Sommerhauser and David Stukenberg, provides an unparalleled service to the families of deceased Brother Sir Knights. Upon the death of a non-priest member, a chalice is engraved with “In Your Charity, Please Pray For Sir Knight” and the name of the decedent, and presented to the priest or religious institution of the family’s choice. The Sir Knight is remembered at every Holy Mass in which the chalice is used at the consecration of the Precious Blood. When possible, the Honor Guard participates in a public chalice presentation, often as part of a celebration of the Holy Mass.
Eligibility for a chalice begins immediately once a Sir Knight is inducted into the Fourth Degree. Regular members contribute a portion of their annual dues, currently $10.50, to the chalice fund, which underwrites the purchase of the chalices. The current balance of the fund can be found in the Purser’s Report, in the relevant period’s minutes.
Families of deceased Sir Knights with questions about the disposition of a chalice can contact the Chairman.
History of the Chalice Program
The Chalice Program began at the Cardinal Glennon Assembly #567 at Bloomsdale, Missouri, on July 19, 1948.
Reverend Ralph Kutz, then-Chancellor of the Jefferson City Diocese headed by Bishop Joseph M. Marling, proposed a chalice be inscribed with the name of the departed Fourth Degree Knight, and the inscribed chalice be sent to the mission fields in the memory of the Brother Sir Knight, a Knight of Christ.
Rev. Joseph Little concurred with the proposal and seconded the motion of Reverend Kutz. Rapidly, the Chalice Dedication was adopted by other Assemblies, until eventually the chalice presentation became the traditional practice of Fourth Degree Assemblies throughout the Order.
The inscribed chalices are provided to priests all over the world, including, but not limited to, Archdiocesan priests, Franciscans, Jesuits, Maryknolls, Vincentians, Redemptorists, Society of Mary, Holy Family Fathers, Missionaires of St. Francis DeSales, Montfort Fathers, Chaplains at hospitals, convents, penal institutions, and to motor missions. This recalls only a few of the many priests throughout the world who remember our deceased Brother Sir Knights, while celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
We look with great satisfaction on a tradition begun in Missouri over sixty-five years ago. We are ever grateful to Reverend, later Monsignor Ralph Kutz and Reverend Joseph Little for our impressive custom. The late Monsignor Kutz has an assembly named after him, the Monsignor Ralph Kutz Assembly #2811, located in Westphalia, Missouri. Bishop Joseph M. Marling Assembly #2111, located in Camdenton, Missouri, is titled in memory of the late Bishop.
During the past twenty five years, the St. Louis Assembly #565, under the guidance of Sir Knights Ken Thrash (departed), Ralph Fick (retired), Bill Chrenka (departed), Ernie Useted III (departed), and Kurt Sommerhauser and David Stukenberg, current chalice program co-chairman, has presented over 900 chalices or ciboria, in memory of our Brother Sir Knights, called home by God.