As I sit here writing this article we are about two weeks out from the Exemplification. I must tell you the excitement is building and so are the butterflies. All the preparations are moving forward for a fantastic weekend. The karaoke machine is getting warmed up and I hope so are your singing voices. Although we are still tallying up the number of candidates we are expecting a very good class. I cannot be prouder of the effort put forth by each and every Assembly. I know a level of effort that is requires by the Faithful Navigators and the assembly teams to pull this off and I am ever so grateful for all your efforts.
The Exemplification every year offers us an opportunity to share the Knights Of Columbus Fourth Degree experience to an entirely new group of brothers and their families. When a man joins the Fourth Degree he joins a fraternity of extremely dedicated and passionate Catholic American. He has an opportunity to put that passion for his country and his church to work. The Fourth Degree has long been known for the Honor Guard and that is an aspect we’re extremely proud of. However if a brother only sees the Fourth Degree as Color Corp he is missing half of the equation. The Fourth Degree is much more than that. Our service to our country and to our church is only limited by our imagination. Whether it be distributing wheelchairs to our American Heroes at the VA hospitals or sponsoring voter registration events a Sir Knight of the Fourth Degree demonstrates his love for country and church every day.
When a brother joins the Knights Of Columbus of the first degree member he is provided the passport to the next level. This is true for every degree. I would offer that there’s a passport to the 4th Degree and the passport resides in the heart of each perspective Sir Knight. If he has the burning desire to serve our great Nation and our Holy Church then he does in fact have the primary qualification of a successful Sir Knight If this is you I encourage you to reach out to us and learn more about us and our mission.
SK John Winfrey
Archdiocesan of Washington District
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.
The following information has been presented by Provincial Marshal SK Francis D. Leach on behalf of SK Wayne S. Freet, PSD - Vice Supreme Master of Calvert Province regarding Color Corps needs, attire, and participation at the 136th Supreme Convention in Baltimore, Maryland.
First, the uniform is the New Uniform, with Service Baldric, and gloves. As well, ‘full’ regalia, including tuxedo, cape, chapeau, service baldric, gloves, black studs, black bow tie and cummerbund, and black shoes; no boots of any kind. In either uniform, everyone will wear only the Emblem of the Fourth Degree PG-113 pin on the lapel and NO swords are used at all at the Supreme Convention. Only Knights of Columbus miniature medals will be worn as prescribed; no military medals. Jewel of current office may be worn. Uniforms should be well maintained, pressed, serviceable, and shoes shined. Color Corpsmen's appearance should be clean, neat, and well groomed.
You do NOT need to register for the Convention if you are only coming for the Adoration Chapel but you will not be permitted into any meetings without Registering. If you want to attend the meetings, you must register for the Convention through the Supreme and Maryland State websites. The cost to register on the Maryland State website is $30 for a family regardless of how big the family. The Supreme Council will generate your name badge when you register on the Supreme site. You must also be in business attire, tuxedo, or New Uniform to attend the Convention Business meetings. Only credentialed Delegates can sit with the State delegates during the Business meetings. There probably will not be any place to purchase food in the Convention center but you could bring something with you and consume it outside of the Chapel or go to any of the local eating-places nearby. Parking will be at your expense or you could use public transportation, again at your expense. The Metro stops at the Convention Center from south and north of the City.
We will have the Blessed Sacrament Adoration Chapel, in the Convention Center, from Sunday through Thursday. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday it will be open from 8 to 4. Thursday it will close around 11 AM. The desire is to have two Color Corpsmen, in the same uniform, sitting or standing, in attendance at all times. The Eucharist must never be left alone. We try to have a location nearby the Chapel where Color Corpsmen can change for Adoration or Mass but I have not seen any definitive plans with rooms assigned for such purposes yet so I can’t tell you today exactly where that ‘changing room’ will be. The Archdiocese of Washington District (AWD) has volunteered to man the Adoration Chapel on Monday, 6 August, Delaware District on Thursday, 9 August, and Maryland Assemblies Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. If you are coming to the Convention, please bring your uniform or regalia and plan to assist at the Chapel at some point in time.
We will have Mass on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. There will be a practice on Monday afternoon in the Convention Center at 3 or 4 PM which Color Corpsmen should plan to attend. You do not need to be in uniform for the practice but I encourage you to bring your uniform dress shoes for the practice. If you are a color corpsmen in uniform or regalia, you will not need to register for the Convention Masses. However, family members must be registered to attend the Masses. In recent years, Supreme has limited the number of Color Corpsmen for the Masses but we have rarely turned anyone away. Also with each passing day of the Convention, fewer Color Corpsmen turnout so keep coming each day. Some Color Corpsmen will not process with the Clergy but will act as escorts for the Eucharistic Ministers and the standards for those Color Corpsmen are the same as that for those processing. If you want to get turned away, come in a uniform that is not well maintained, dirty, or badly wrinkled or you not being well groomed. A new Icon will be presented most likely at the Wednesday Mass. At the Memorial Mass on Thursday there will probably be relics during the Procession and Adoration of the Relics following the Mass which will require Sir Knights to stand guard.
At the Tuesday, States Dinner, select Color Corpsmen will present the nine National flags and each Flag Bearer will be escorted by two guards also in the New Uniform or Regalia. These Color Corpsmen will be selected during the practice that will occur Monday afternoon at 3 or 4 PM in the Convention Center main meeting / Ballroom. All Color Corpsmen should endeavor to attend this practice. You do not need to be in Uniform or Regalia for the practice but I would recommend bringing your dress shoes. Times will be confirmed as soon as possible but mostly likely the Saturday at the start of the Convention. You do NOT need to register for the Convention or the States Dinner to be Color Corps at the Dinner, but you will not be fed unless you purchase a States Dinner ticket. To obtain States Dinner tickets you must go through the Supreme webpage for the Convention, pay $75 per ticket, and Register for the Convention through the Maryland State webpage, and pay $30. Just because you register and purchase States Dinner tickets does not guarantee you will be a member of the flag presentation team.