Delegates, Brother Knights and Guests:
Anita and I bid you welcome to the 117th Iowa State Convention in Davenport. I look forward to meeting many of you, discussing fraternal business and planning for the future of our beloved Iowa Knights of Columbus.
This past year has seen many visible changes in the Fourth Degree. Internationally we’ve adopted a new uniform for the color guard – you will get to see many of us wearing same during this week-end’s many activities. I ask you to keep an open mind and help us work toward a smooth transition in 2019.
The flag pin; beloved by so many, is to be phased out of use by the color corps while in the new uniform. It is still acceptable and encouraged to wear during social events outside of the color corps.
The dress code for a candidate for the fourth degree no longer requires a tuxedo. Rather: A candidate will wear a black or dark (blue or grey) business suit, with black shoes, white dress shirt and dark tie. A tuxedo will still be acceptable but not mandatory. A candidate serving in the armed forces of his country, full time police and firefighters may wear a Class A or dress uniform. A candidate who is also a priest or deacon may wear clerical attire.
What hasn’t changed is the heart of what it means to be a Sir Knight. Religiously devoted and patriotically proud the fourth degree promotes deeper involvement in faithful practice of our Catholic religion and enlightened engagement in the public square. Whether it’s in public or private, the Knights remind our communities that Catholics support this country and are among the most loyal of its citizens. The life of a Sir Knight is meant to exemplify the truest sense of these principles.
To those who are already Sir Knights I encourage you to recommit to keep these principles first and foremost in your lives and public witness. If you are not yet a Sir Knight I invite you to seriously consider taking another step in your journey of faith and citizenship. Many either feel they don’t have time or are not yet worthy. Neither should keep you from considering the fourth degree. We are looking for good men such as you who which to become better men and together we will do great things for God and country. The level of involvement is your choice.
I will be available throughout the week end and would appreciate hearing from many of you on the challenges you face and the successes you’ve engineered with God’s help.
Michael P. Gaspers