Worthy Sir Knights of the Archdiocese of Washington District,
As many of you have heard, a new Fourth Degree Uniform was unveiled at the opening Mass of the 135th Supreme Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. The uniform consists of a blue blazer with an embroidered Emblem of the Fourth Degree on the breast pocket, dark gray trousers, a black beret with the Emblem of the Fourth Degree above the left eye, a Fourth Degree tie, and the Fourth Degree pin (PG-113).
At the opening business session of the Convention, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson stated and showcased how the uniform had changed through the years, and that this is the new changed uniform. He also stated that the Color Corps Regalia will continue to be used on a limited basis at the Assemblies choosing for public and liturgical events to provide honor guards. Until the uniform becomes available to everyone, we will continue to use our previous Standard Regalia (Cape, Chapeau, Tuxedo), such as at the upcoming AMS Father Capodanno Memorial Mass. Beyond that, we will await further guidance from the Supreme Master and our Provincial Vice Supreme Master.
I will be the first to tell you, as a leader of Marines and your leader, that the rollout of this new uniform wasn’t perfect. But we must work with the facts that we have and move forward.
Certainly we may all have opinions about the new uniform, but we must not forget and continue to live by the guiding principles of our order: Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. These are why we exist, and regardless of any change, I am here to work on and within these principles and the spirit of Columbianism. I hope that you are, too! In today’s world, more than ever, we are needed by many: Family, Clergy, Youth, and the Holy Catholic Church. So, my hope is that you will continue to assist in these and our many Knightly areas, no matter what!
As I receive any additional information, I will pass it on.
Thank you for all that you do for the Knights of Columbus in general and for our Patriotic Degree in particular!
Fraternally and Patriotically,
Micheal W. Thumm, FDD, PGK, PFN
Colonel, USMC, Retired
Master, 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.