Commodore John Barry Council 2544 and Assembly 1775
Knights of Columbus Commodore John Barry Council 2544 was chartered on October 8, 1924. The council was named for Commodore John Barry, an officer in the Continental Navy during the American Revolution. Commodore Barry has been credited as “The Father of the American Navy”. He was the first American commissioned naval officer and its first flag officer. John Barry was born in Ireland in 1745 and was raised and lived his life as a Roman Catholic. He was known throughout his career as a religious man who began each day at sea by reading the bible. He died in Philadelphia in 1803 and is buried in the cemetery of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in that city.
Council 2544 originally served St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church in Dunellen. Later, Our Lady of Mt. Virgin Parish was formed in Middlesex and Our Lady of Fatima Parish was formed in Piscataway. Council 2544 served those parishes as well until a group from Our Lady of Mount Virgin formed their own council in May, 2000. Council 2544 now serves both St. John’s and Our Lady of Fatima parishes. We support our parishes by making financial contributions and also by providing manpower for parish activities when our help is needed. We also fundraise for programs that assist people with special needs and have made large contributions to Arc programs and to Special Olympics.
The Commodore John Barry Fourth Degree Assembly 1775 was chartered on August 12, 1978. The Fourth Degree assembly is comprised of members of Saint John’s, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Mount Virgin, and Saint Francis Cabrini parishes. Members are those third degree Knights that choose to obtain their Fourth Degree, The Patriotic Degree. Our Assembly will generally focus activities and fund raising efforts around causes pertaining to patriotism and veterans. For example, we periodically go to the Veterans Hospital in Lyons to help disabled veterans to Mass in the hospital chapel. We have also visited the Veterans Home in Menlo Park to help patients participate in Bingo. We donate to and participate in Wreaths Across America. We also contribute to Send a Hero Home, a NJ Knights of Columbus program that pays airfare home for enlisted men and women serving overseas at Christmas.