As I write this article the District is in the middle of preparing for the Exemplification. This is a very special time of year because this is when we introduce the greatest fraternal organization to an entirely new group of men and their families, and as such change the lives of many people. While we prepare for this Exemplification I have been given some thought to who would make a good Sir Knight and what type of man is ideal for our honored order. It came to me that this is nothing new. Our world has always relayed on good men and in history we even called them Knights. We remember stories of the Knights of the Round Table where before even being considered for that great honor a man would have to demonstrate years of dedicated service to his country and Church. He would have to show the world that charity was his guiding principle in his life. Proving his strong moral character through daily acts of kindness to his fellow man. Standing for what is right and good. Moreover being the true defender of the disadvantaged and weak. So I thought how is this different from today. When we look at a prospective 4th Degree Sir Knight, do we not look for the same characteristics? Are we not looking for men of good upstanding values who will stand for what is right in our own country? Aren't we looking for the good patriot just as they did in years past? Of course the answer is yes.
Now the challenge is to find such men. I would argue they are all around us. They are the men who stand when the flag is marched by. They are the men who stop and open a door for a lady. They are the men who stop and help a child with a disability. We find these good men all around us. So why are we not trying to introduce them to an order that respects and honors these values? The order of the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree is an avenue for these men and their families to come together and work on a common goal and that goal is to make our world a better place, to serve our country, and our Holy Church. So our mission as a Sir Knight is to reach out to these good men and say come join us in a Holy Crusade to Take a Stand and Make a Difference. To those who are not a Sir Knight, I challenge you to learn more about our order and see if there is a place for you beside us. This is a mighty task but with good men such as yourself nothing is impossible.
SK John Winfrey
Master of the 4th Degree
Archdiocese of Washington District
Have you ever given any thought to your legacy? I certainly didn’t until last year when I attended a funeral of a Brother Knight from VA. As I was sitting there listening to his eulogy they told a story of a man who truly left a great Legacy. Bill was in deed a great man, but you couldn’t tell that from looking at him. He didn’t drive a big nice car, he didn’t live in a big house. Bill was a modest man that left behind a GREAT legacy. That got me to thinking about my legacy as Master, and the legacy of our District. What will people say when I go to my reward, or for that matter what will they say about all of us when we all go meet our maker. Will they say we were dedicated husbands, or hard workers, of even better yet when they stand up at the pulpit will they talk about how much of a Redskins fan we were. Not that any of these are bad, but I would rather they say how we touched in a positive way the lives of the people of our community, and Church. I would rather them say we fed the hungry, and brought smiles to children who had no reason to smile, or we helped someone who really needed our help. These are the true legacies we should be looking for. It isn’t about glory here on earth. It is the command of our Lord to make a difference while we are here.
You ask, what the heck does this have to do with being a Sir Knight of the 4th Degree? Moreover what does this have to do with this season? My answer is this. As we sit down and think about our blessings I would suggest you think about the blessings you have provided someone else this last year. Have we made someone’s life better, or less troubling? Also as we embark on a new year, what will we do over the next twelve months to change a life, and make a difference? As members of the 4th Degree, our District and Assemblies have a great opportunity to do just that. We have a great need in our Country and community, and the question is, do we as Sir Knight have the heart, and love to take on those challenges. I believe we do. So my New Year’s resolution, and I hope yours is as well is to find one way, one project, one effort that will change one life. If we can accomplish that we will truly MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
From the Winfrey family John, Gloria, Mandy, Kassie, Rachel, and Cynthia we wish you and your family’s a Blessed of New Year.
How very proud we should be to see a Priest, Army Chaplain, and a brother Knight receive the Congressional Medal of Honor! It was so good to see, Father Emil Kapaun, a simple priest from the Midwest receive the highest military honor, posthumously, from the President of the USA some 60 years later after the Korean war--it was Divine Providence. It was shameful however, that one had to go onto YouTube to actually see the presentation of the Medal but the media of late has never been friendly toward our Church, especially the Priesthood.
That being said, for me as a retired Air Force Chaplain to see not one but two priests: Frs. Capodanno USN (Vietnam) and Kapaun USA (Korea) honored by our Nation but whose causes are up for Beatification makes me both proud to have served my country during time of war (Desert Storm) and to be a Priest for my men in uniform. Father Emil was a correctly called a "Priest in the Army" an officer second. Father Kapaun died for his men in arms without thinking about himself and ultimately gave his life for his comrades in arms. Yes, doing ordinary things extraordinarily is the quick definition of being a Saint of God, and this Fr. Emil, is a true Catholic Chaplain who working with God's Grace performed miracles in the field. These holy Catholic Priest-Chaplains, broke old barriers of religious bigotry and prejudice when they (Kapaun and Cappadonno) ministered to all troops Catholic and non Catholic with the same apostolic zeal equally rendered. I would be almost certain that not just religious barriers were conquered but many conversions after these wars happened, thanks to "A ministry of Presence!"
When I was a Chaplain, I tried my very best to be all things to all men and women in uniform, and this I learned from the lives of these Saintly Catholic Chaplains above. Oh how we most desperately need good holy priests in the Military now, especially in places like Afghanistan, were militant Islamists still reign, and Christianity is despised. But, this is were the church does her best work, ministering to our troops in the mountains and desert, and even helping defenseless women and children who are victims to terrorists. Our church has always done well under persecution and wars and has come out the stronger. We must at the same time support Priestly-Vocations in recruiting young men for the priesthood. Perhaps we can get one out of an ordination class to consider being a chaplain in the Armed Forces, that would be my job... We are certainly blessed at present to have Father John Ruddermann who is going into the U.S. Air Force chaplain program. He will be a most welcomed addition to the chaplain corps in that at present our Chaplain Corps (all services ) are dominated by Protestant and strange fundamental and obscure new religions who know nothing about our church or its Sacramental nature. It makes it incredibly difficult for a young Catholic Chaplain with low rank to be heard at the table of "command"
In conclusion then, we look at who are winning awards for heroism in the field 90% are the brave Catholic Chaplains who go way over and beyond the call of duty not to win medals but to save souls and lives. The late great General Chesty Puller, USMC of the Korean War vintage once said "I want a Catholic Priest with me in the front lines, they take of my Marines body and soul and don't think of anything else!"
Semper Fi and God Bless,
Rev. Monsignor Karl A. Chimiak FF
Chaplain USAF ret.
It has been announced by the Master of the Archdiocese of Washington 4th Degree District, SK Col. Micheal Thumm (USMC-Ret), that the 48th Exemplification of the Fourth Degree in the Archdiocese of Washington District will take place on Saturday, October 28th at Nativity Catholic Church.
The date and location has changed from previous exemplifications, as has the attire for candidates and attending Sir Knights and Columbian dignitaries.
Candidates’ dress shall be black or dark (blue or grey) business suit with black shoes, white dress shirt and tie, and candidate identification (identification provided by the secretary to the master). Armed forces, police, and firefighters may wear Class A or dress uniform. Priests and members of religious orders may wear their clerical attire.
Sir Knight spectators will wear the same dress as candidates to also include the wearing of the pin of the Emblem of the Fourth Degree (PG-113) . The Color Guard, Honor Guard and Line Guards will be in full regalia with the PG-113 pin as in the past. No other attire or formalwear is acceptable.
As well, the format for the banquet has changed to that of a luncheon to immediately follow the exemplification.
An honoree for the exemplification will be named by the Master of the Fourth Degree in the coming weeks.
The Memorial Mass for Father Vincent R. Capodanno, MM, will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 5 September 2017 in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 400 Michigan Avenue, Northeast, Washington, D.C. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the United States Military Services, will be the main celebrant. This annual Mass is celebrated in memory of Father Capodanno, killed in Vietnam on 4 September 1967, as he aided embattled Marines. Father Capodanno posthumously received the Medal of Honor, and in May 2006 the Catholic Church officially proclaimed him a Servant of God, formally initiating his cause for beatification. The Father Vincent Capodanno Guild is the only official organization set up to promote the cause for canonization of Father Capodanno.