I am pleased to join you as you complete the commitment to become 4th Degree Knights. I would like to thank the Nebraska degree team for their work to make this a meaningful experience. I would also like to thank your District Master’s Rich Lowery and Mike Gaspers as they continue to lead the 4th Degree in the state of Nebraska and Iowa.
I just want to say a few words to our new Sir Knights. I congratulate you for being part of the first virtual joint district class in the Fr. Padilla Province. It is my hope that you were inspired today to become an active member. Becoming a 4th Degree Knight only means something if you become an active part of your assembly. You are the “new guys”. Make yourself known in your assemblies. Take on leadership roles, volunteer, and share your ideas. We need you to get involved!
I don’t need to tell you that the world is facing a new and enormous challenge because of the virus. Now, more than ever, men of faith and action are needed. It is also more difficult to safely help our communities. We can’t do this the way we always have. We need your new ideas to face these challenges. Whether it is an assembly meeting over Zoom, or a calling tree to check on those who are isolated. We must work together to find solutions to today's new challenges.
As a patriotic degree, the 4th Degree is especially committed to helping the men and women who have served our country in the armed forces. Many veterans continue to suffer from homelessness and physical and mental disabilities.
These veterans continue to need our help and all deserve our thanks. I hope that you will work in your assemblies to help veterans in need.
We show patriotism by working together to make this country the best that it can be for ALL of its people, from the struggling veteran, the priest who needs a little help or the elderly person who just wants someone to say “How are you today”?
Patriotism is not just honoring the flag, it is honoring the people.
I believe that is the mission of the 4th degree. I hope you do too.
God Bless America and may God Bless you and your family.
Patrick O’Keefe VSM