The Priory of St. Clair in Detroit began in 1998 as the Commandery of Outre Mer (across the sea), under the sponsorship of the Priory of St. John the Baptist in Milwaukee. It is a reference to the states, the "Knights of Old," and their descendants, created and maintained in the Middle East.
Outre Mer became the Priory of St. Clair on November 6, 1999, with Chev. Charles “Terry” Davis III installed as Prior I. The name came from French explorer Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. He named a large body of water in the area Lac Sainte-Claire because he and his men entered it on August 12 1679, which is the feast day of St. Clare of Assisi.
The Priory of St. Clair helped establish GPUSA’s first “foreign” priory, which in turn gave birth to the Grand Priory of Canada. The Priory of St. Clair stood up the Commandery of Canada in Windsor, Ontario in 2003, with the encouragement and support of Grand Prior X, RADM Chev. James Carey, GCTJ, GMTJ. The Commandery became the Priory of the Ascension of our Lord in 2004, led by the Rt. Rev. Sir Ronald Matthewman who was Prior I. Both priories, separated only by the Detroit River, continued to hold joint convents and investitures for several years.
COL Chev. Larry B. Main, GCTJ was installed as Prior II on April 1, 2006. The Priory of St. Clair began holding its own convents and investitures at the Jeruit Manressa Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Both priories still enjoy very close relationships, although they now have separate events. The Priory developed a coat of arms in 2007 under the leadership and guidance of Chev. Mark Villeneuve, M.D., an acknowledged expert in heraldry.
Priors of St. Clair
Prior I Chev. Charles S. “Terry” Davis III, GCTJ (1999-2006)*
Prior II COL Chev. Larry B. Main, GCTJ (2006-2009)
Prior III COMO Chev. Mark R. Villeneuve, M.D., GOTJ (2009-2011)
Prior IV Rev. Chev. Darrell A. Neves, D.Min., GOTJ (2011-2013)
Prior V LTC Chev. Joseph J. Gabelsberger, GOTJ (2013-2015)
Prior VI Chev. Douglas F. Hegyi, D.O., GOTJ (2015-2017)
Prior VII Chev. Michael Trahern Fisher, KCTJ (2017-2019)