Biosketch – Master Thomas Greul
I have been involved with the Knights almost literally from my birth in 1967. I come from a Knights family and as such, through the experiences of watching and helping my grandfather, a Fourth Degree Knight, and his efforts with the Church Spring Gala’s, the Knights sponsored events, tootsie roll collections and more, I became indoctrinated into the good works of the Knights. My Church experiences were well honed with my involvement as altar boy for the parish until I graduated from St. Agnes School. I was a boy scout and obtained my Eagle with a palm. The scouts taught me to be a leader very early and by the time I was senior patrol leader I had 72 boys in troop 336.
I went to Cardinal Gibbon’s high school and during that time I met my beautiful wife Heather. We were married in September 1989 and will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary together this year. We have been blessed with three beautiful daughters. My oldest daughter attended Mount St. Mary’s college and is now in a nursing program, my middle daughter is at Towson University studying deaf studies and wants to be an interpreter and teacher of deaf children and my youngest will be attending SCAD – the Savannah College of Art and Design to be an animator for Disney or Pixar.
I attended Catonsville Community college and then University of Maryland. During this time, I was a manager of the tool and hardware department at Hechinger’s. I started at UPS in March of 1989 as a package car driver delivering in Metro DC, Tacoma Park and finally in Silver Spring. In 1997, while delivering packages, I was hit by a drunk driver and injured. I was told that I may never be able to walk again. However, as a result of my determination, faith in God’s healing process and hard work and several surgeries; I am a walking testament to setting goals and achieving them.
During that healing process, I found the rosary and wore it out and believed I was called back to the work of the Knights by our Blessed Mother. I joined the order in 2004 and found my calling. I found a brotherhood that let me help my fellow man, community and country. I started ushering at masses with my brothers and I work with the parish council as the liaison between the Knights and the parish council.
I recently transferred to St. Bartholomew Council 9127. As a former 11-year member of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Council 7612, I was elected Grand Knight in 2008-2009. While working through the chairs, I was awarded Council Rookie of the year, Calvert Province Sir Knight of the Year, Council Knight of the Year, awarded Maryland State Family of the Year, awarded two State Program awards that I chaired; namely Council and Family which subsequently had the “Council” report receiving the coveted Supreme Award. Since that time, I have served in additional leadership and mentoring positions within the Knights of Columbus. I have chaired or co-chaired many activities for my former council. Just to name a few: eight year Home Corp Member of which five years as President of the Home Corp, served on the Admission committee, Member of the 1st degree team and 3 years as Council Trustee and many more.
My Fourth degree leadership roles included, working my way through the chairs and becoming the Faithful Navigator of James Cardinal Gibbons #379. After that I became Admiral and 3-years as Trustee, I became Color Corps Commander, aide to the Warden and Warden to the Master of the Fourth Degree. Additionally, I am proud to have been a Member of the State Color Corps Winning Flag Team from Assembly 379 for the three years they had the competition 2007, 2008 and 2009, as well as a member of the provincial flag team.
I have successfully performed in many leadership roles such as State Membership Team for PSD Richard Siejack, State Youth Director for PSD Peter Davio, Coats for Kids Chairman for PSD Peter Davio, District Warden for PSD Richard Siejack and District Deputy for Past State Deputy William C. Kuchmas.
Additionally, I organized and ran two well received Welcome Home programs for the military men and woman returning home through BWI. These programs, which I directed, raised over $5000 and delivered hundreds of cases of water, thousands of snacks and Welcome Home letters collected from school aged children for these returning warriors.
Besides my aforementioned accident two other events stand out in my mind and are reflective of character and ability to think on ones feet: As I mentioned my grandfather was a fourth degree member as well as a Baltimore City policeman. When he died the fourth degree and the police department stood watch over my grandfather. I was only 10 and very close to my grandfather and remember how honored I felt, these men were protecting my grandfather. I vowed and to replay that respect to others and have endeavored to fulfill my promise with active involvement in the Color Corps.
The second incident, a few years later was when I was senior patrol leader We took 37 boys to summer camp and one day a freak storm rolled in. The campground took 70 mph wind gusts blowing trees over, lighting striking trees and all of the adult leaders were in town at the time. I gathered all of the boys and moved them to safety, many were hiding in their tents that we found later crushed or blown away. When the rangers and adult leaders came back, they found I had found sanctuary in the nature center, had everyone safely counted for. I received two letters of commendation for bravery and leadership in a crisis situation, and a presidential letter of recognition.
In summary, my successes are a reflection of my hard work, determination, loyalty and love of the Knights of Columbus that I look forward to continuing for many years, in part, as Master of the of the Calvert Province.