District Master’s Message
During the month of November we remember all of our deceased 4th degree members from this past year and all the past years as well and pray for them.
Thinking about this caused me to reflect on all of the many terrific Sir Knights and Ladies I have come to know over the many years I have been active in the 4th degree of the order. It caused me to think about what they have meant to me and how they’ve shaped the way I think about our Church, our Country and the 4th degree. If you are currently a 4th degree member I’m sure you have probably done the same.
If you look at the history of the 4th degree, one of the biggest surges in membership growth took place as our brave veterans returned home from foreign wars, whether it be the 1st or 2nd World Wars, Korea or Vietnam. I really believe that they came back home and found a real place where they could connect with other veterans like themselves who felt the same way about our beautiful Catholic Church and our extraordinary United States and worked hard to promote the kind of patriotic devotion they felt for our church and country.
However, the legacy they’ve left behind is only as strong as the next generation. It’s up to us, the current group of Sir Knights and Ladies to continue the great work of our Assemblies, its deceased members and the 4th degree in general and carry on the legacy. It’s up to us to communicate the ideals of Patriotism and the 4th degree to the next generations.
It’s no secret that the whole uniform issue has had a negative effect on recruitment and the overall participation and attitudes of many of the current members. I’ve had a number of Sir Knight’s approach me specifically to tell me angrily that they are not going to be getting a new uniform. I was talking with a Sir Knight recently that I’ve known for many years who I hadn’t seen in a long time and I mentioned to him that he probably heard I had been appointed as Master and he told me he had no idea because he has had nothing to do with the 4th degree since the new uniforms were introduced.
Is that really all it takes for us to abandon the 4th degree and great work we do for our church, our clergy and our country? We won’t have anything to do with the order anymore because of a uniform we don’t like?
I understand that there are some who can’t justify purchasing a new uniform due to age or financial reasons. I get that. I will say however for the record that if you truly have a desire to continue participating in the guards that if you talk to the Navigator of your Assembly I’m confident that something can be worked out.
If you are a current 4th degree member and are so upset about the new uniforms that you would stop being active at all, I would respectfully ask you to reconsider your thinking on the matter. Reflect on all the great works of your Assembly and the order.
Reflect on those you know who have gone before us and have spent countless hours, so much energy and so many monetary resources building up your Assembly. I believe we owe it to them to do all we can to see that they remain successful and vibrant. To be clear, the transition to the new uniforms will be ending on June 30, 2019. After that date only the new uniforms will be worn for Honor Guards. Feel free to email or call me with questions or concerns.
Our next Exemplification will be Saturday May 4th at the Hyatt Regency in Bloomington. The hotel is 2 years old and will be a great venue. I look forward to a terrific weekend with our hosts, the Monsignor Meagher assembly. We have already had a meeting and planning is well underway.
As Assemblies we need to start recruiting now, not waiting until the new year and it needs to happen at the council level. Go to your council meetings. Take form 4s with you. Be ready to answer questions. As you go to holiday parties and events, bring up the 4th degree. Have a form 4 with you or in the car.
If we got only 1 new member from each of our councils, we would bring in a great class of new SK’s and that would be a wonderful start on our way to honoring those who worked so hard to build up our great Assemblies across the state.
If you are a 3rd degree member talk to your Grand Knight or Financial Secretary to get the process started or feel free to drop me an email or a phone call and I’ll be happy to assist you. Also know that if you are not currently a member of the Knights or are a 1st degree member you can click on the degree schedule tab on the home page and see where the upcoming degree ceremonials will be taking place.
I truly love the 4th degree and all great works we do and the great people in it. My main task and my goal as Master is the success of 4th degree and the Assemblies in our state. Vivat Jesus!
Fort St Charles Chapel Restoration
“As not only Master but also as a board member for Ft St Charles, it is with great pleasure that I am sharing these pics of our progress this fall on the chapel construction. The chapel is substantially complete with just some trim work, signage, etc left to complete. With Fr Fred Fink presiding, we were able to celebrate our first mass in the chapel. A very moving experience for those of us who have spent so much time and energy to get to this point.
Rest assured to all of you who so generously donated to the “Logs of Legacy campaign” that your funds are being put to extremely good use and we will have succeeded in insuring that the Ft project continues to serve the state, community and the 4th degree of our order for many decades to come. Also, for anyone interested, mark your calendars to visit the Ft site and participate in our chapel dedication on Saturday September 14th, 2019. We will be giving tours of the island as well as holding a dedication mass with honor guard celebrated by Bishop Hoeppner presiding as well as several priests concelebrating. There will be a reception on site to follow. More details on times, lodging if needed, etc. will be posted in the future.” Lastly, you can view a history of Ft. St. Charles on their website by clicking here.