Knights of St. John
 Commandery No. 382 
Buffalo Grand Commandery, 2nd Regiment, 3rd Battalion
Queen of Heaven R.C.C., West Seneca, NY
Commandery No. 382 

    The Knights of St. John International, Commandery No. 382 was chartered at Queen of Heaven R.C.C. in March 1959 at the request of then pastor, Rev. Msgr. Joseph J. Vogel.  The following is referenced from the collected notes of Lt.Col. Philip Derion who through his wisdom and diligence provided a continued embodiment of Commandery No. 382.
   "The idea to form a Commandery of the Knights of St. John in Queen of Heaven Parish was the result of a Deer hunting party that took place in the hills of Pennsylvania.  Reverend Fr. Joseph Vogel, John Jablonsky and Stanley Kompinski were members of this party and after a rigorous day in the woods, they sat down to a hearty meal.  While relaxing in the evening, many things were talked about, breaking ground ceremonies for the new Church in West Seneca, N.Y. of which he was Pastor of, and was to be known as Queen of Heaven. Father Vogel asked John and Stan to look into the possibility of forming a Commandery in the Parish."
  "Both men accepted the task and with the assistance of Major Robert Glose, Regimental Organizer and Lt. Mike Greco, the formation of a Commandery was accomplished.  On March 24, 1959, twenty six men were assembled for the purpose of electing Officers under the guidance of Maj. Glose and Lt. Mike Greco.  On Sunday April 5, 1959 these men attended the 8 o'clock Mass to receive Holy Communion, and at 2:30pm Twenty Two of the Twenty Six men were initiated in the First Degree of the Knights of St. John by Colonel Frank C. Wopperer.  Captain Charles Quest of Commandery 292 commanded the color escort and the color guard was commanded by Lt. Aloysious Schmitt.  Col. Wopperer who presided at the ceremonies was assisted by Regimental Adjutant Matthew Maes, who instructed the Officers in their duties.  Supreme President, General Peter Schwab presented the Official Charter and a Silver Crucifix and Candle Holders were presented by Col. Frank Wopperer to the Commandery."
"It was the aim of the members of this Commandery to be uniformed as quickly as possible.  Fund raising projects such as doughnut sales, spaghetti dinners, pancake breakfasts, Christmas tree sales and many other projects along with some assistance from Fr. Vogel it was tough sledding, but they accomplished their goal.  Throughout the years many fund raising affairs were under taken to keep the Commandery financially stable, Hawaiian nights, dances and our local Chamber of Commerce Dinner Catering."
  "Throughout the years, we have been fortunate to have eights Presidents and Civil Officers, three Captains and their Lieutenants who have tenaciously guided under their leadership the welfare and success of this Commandery, emerging a strong and vital part of the Buffalo Regiment, of the Knights of St. John."
  "Many of our men, through their dedication and efforts have achieved higher status in the Battalion and Regimental Staffs.  Captain Richard Beiter elected and Commissioned Major of the First Battalion, Lt. Col. and Col. on the Regimental Staff."

  Rev. Msgr. Joseph Vogel provided the initial funding to uniform the Knights of Commandery No. 382.  That generousity continues to be repaid by Commandery No. 382 answering any request from our pastor and spiritual adivisor.  Over the years Commandery No. 382 has donated funds to purchase several of the religious accouterments that today adorn the Queen of Heaven R.C.C.  Knights have utilized their God given talents to assist in building the school and convent and renovating the church.  Today, Commandery No. 382 contains Knights from many parishes throughout the Buffalo Diocese who voluteer in many of the lay organizations within their own parishes.  Commandery No. 382 also has the proud distinction of being the largest uniformed Commandery in the United States.  Commandery No. 382 contains both Uniformed and Non-Uniformed Knights.

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