Missionaries of the Message
Supreme Assembly meets immediately following the close of the 134th Supreme Convention
Charity, unity and fraternity are lessons not only for the Knights of Columbus and Catholics, but for everyone, and Fourth Degree members are the missionaries of this message, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson told the Vice Supreme Masters during his remarks to the Supreme Assembly Meeting awards session.
Immediately following the close of the 134th Supreme Convention in Toronto, the Supreme Assembly met to discuss the operations of the Order’s Patriotic Degree. The Supreme Assembly, composed of the Vice Supreme Masters, met under the leadership of Supreme Master Dennis Stoddard.
“So when you return home and host your provincial meetings, fire up your district masters to recruit new Fourth Degree members, engage them in assembly development initiatives and let you and I pledge and resolve that we will stand as one, shoulder to shoulder, for our Church, our Order and for the Fourth Degree,” the Supreme Master said in his report. “We are the Fourth Degree, we practice the principle of Patriotism, and we are the sons of our Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the heirs of our beloved founder, Father Michael J. McGivney.”
“Now is the time to rise to the challenge and take the Fourth Degree to the next level,” he added.
During the meeting, the assembled Vice Supreme Masters discussed various resolutions, dress code for the Patriotic Degree, programs and the vital need for membership growth.
Following the meeting, an awards banquet was held.
During his address to the Vice Supreme Masters, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson told them, “Someone has to stand up for what should be an obvious truth that Catholics are good citizens.” He added that Fourth Degree members are the most suited for that task. “Now more than ever, we need the Fourth Degree, the Patriotic Degree, of our Order. The Church and the country need the Fourth Degree now as much as at any time in our history.”
Supreme Knight Anderson asked the Vice Supreme Masters to encourage their assemblies to undertake programs – especially Blue Masses in honor of police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel – as a way to promote unity and prayer to help overcome the deep division currently in the country. He also asked that they look for ways to commemorate the entry of the United States into World War I in the coming year and the end of that conflict in the following year.
“Assemblies should also look to incorporate programs of outreach to veterans and military personnel,” he added, pointing out that these men, as well as emergency and law enforcement personnel, would be a natural fit for Knights of Columbus membership, and especially in the Fourth Degree.
Two Vice Supreme Masters were recognized for exceeding their membership quota for the past fraternal year. Dionisio Esteban Jr. of the Ferdinand Magellan Province reached 107 percent of his quota, and Carlos Alberto Carrillo Colorado of the San Felipe De Jesus Province reached 232 percent of his quota.
Five Vice Supreme Masters reached or exceeded their goal for new assemblies. They were: Gerald C. Schmidt, Father Edward Sorin, three new assemblies for 100 percent of quota; Michael H. Kingman, John H. Reddin Province, four new assemblies for 100 percent of quota; Lawrence G. Campitiello, Junipero Serra Province, four new assemblies for 100 percent of quota; William G. Baalmann, Father Padilla Province, five new assemblies for 125 percent of quota; and Dionisio R. Esteban Jr., Ferdinand Magellan Province, 36 new assemblies for 277 percent of quota.
On Wednesday, the winners of the Fourth Degree’s To Be A Patriot Awards were announced. This year’s winning entries were:
Karol Józef Wojtyła Assembly 3111
Once Upon a Mattress
The members of Karol Józef Wojtyła Assembly raised $11,000 to pay for 66 beds for 40 refurbished apartment units on a VA medical campus by putting on a full-scale production of the musical comedy play “Once Upon a Mattress”. The assembly members constructed the stage, memorized their lines, places and roles, along with the songs. They also provided refreshments which were sold at intermission. The all-male cast of Knights worked with Catholic Charities to provide services and give homeless veterans and their families hope for a better future.
Our Lady of Charity Assembly 3089
Veterans Day Mass & Ceremonials at Sarasota National Cemetery
Recognizing the sacrifices made by all members of the United States armed forces, Our Lady of Charity Assembly organized a Veterans Day Mass and Ceremonials at Sarasota National Cemetery. The assembly reached its goal of attracting over 2,000 worshipers and dedicated a permanent granite monument commemorating Knights of Columbus who served in the U.S. military. With both liturgical and military components to the celebration, remembrance was given through prayer for the repose of the souls of veterans both deceased and living.
Pope John Paul II Assembly 3176
Support and Promote the Special Olympics Movement
Pope John Paul II Assembly, in support and promotion of patriotic fraternalism, devoted themselves to conducting five separate Special Olympics events. The virtues of patriotism are also those of church and country: respect, acceptance, inclusion and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities. With events ranging from a Special Olympian Basketball Free Throw Tournament to a Special Olympian Athletic Night and Flag Transfer Ceremony, the assembly provided awareness of the Special Olympics movement and honored Special Olympians by organizing and participating in the event.