Grand Prior XII RADM Chev. Andrew P. O’Rourke, GCTJ, GMTJ, established the Commandery of Mount Saint Michael in 2000 under commander Chev. Frank E, Mulrine, GCTJ. Their territory includes the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
The Commandery’s fifteen members hosted many socials, house parties, meetings and other functions to recruit potential postulants. It held its first Convent and Investiture in August 2001 at the Chapel in the Highlands in Seattle, with acolytes, an organist, a piper and the Grand Prior.
Deputy Grand Prior, Chvse. Mary Margaret Borum, DGCTJ, GMTJ, officiated a year-and-a-half later at the second Convent and Investiture at the Elks Lodge in Tacoma, which saw the dubbing of new members and the institution of a new tradition. Chev. William I. McFadden, KCTJ and his son, Chev. Peter McFadden, KTJ presented the first Fiddler’s Afternoon on Mother’s Day in 2004.
The Commandery of Mount St. Michael achieved priory status in October 2004 after five successful years as a commandery. Chev. Mulrine transferred the leadership to Chev. Dennis Lee Biallas, GOTJ, GMTJ as Prior I. He resigned a year later for personal reasons and Chev. John W. Wrightson III, KCTJ succeeded him as Prior II.
Prior Wrightson awarded Chev. Frank Mulrine the newly-created Prior’s Templar Arrow in 2007, for his years of commitment, strength, knowledge and energy. The Priory instituted the Prior’s Faith and Spirit Award which recognizes Christian mission and values, as well as the Commendation Award which recognizes outstanding members.
The priory has hosted many convents and investitures and other events over the years. It publishes the Templar Dispatch as a way to keep its members informed on what is happening in the Priory. It has been creative and effective in its promotional materials and recruiting events.
Priory members have been innovative in raising money for outreach ministries through bowl-a-thons and yard sales, as well as through regular membership donations. The priory has provided hands-on ministry and financial contributions, such worthy causes as the American Lake VA Hospital, Edgewood Community Food Bank, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Medical Teams International and St. Francis House. Other contributions have been made to the Mountain View Community Center, Silent Knight, Washington National Guard Minute Man Fund and a KOMO TV/IKEA drive to support flood victims in Chehalis and Centralia, Washington.
The Priory of Mount St. Michael has been generous to the GPUSA in donating a duplicate priory banner, Templar sword and a dubbing pillow. Also, it devised a memorial service for fallen knights and dames that was approved later by the GPUSA for use in other priories.
The Priory of Mount St. Michael members look ahead toward the next fifty years with a history and pride of many past accomplishments and a lot of creativity and energy for the future.
Priors of the Priory of Mount St. Michael
Prior I Chev. Dennis Lee Biallas, GOTJ (2004-2005)
Prior II Chev John W. Wrightson III, KCTJ (2005-2006)
Prior III Rev. Chev. Raymond Lee Morehead, GOTJ (2006-2012)
Prior IV CBM (Ret.) Chev. Roger Barnstead, KTJ (2012-2013)
Prior V Chev. John Knierim, KCTJ (2013-2015)
Prior VI Chev. Robert Bellitto, GOTJ (2015-2017)