Delegates, Brother Knights and Guests:
Anita and I bid you welcome to the 118th Iowa State Convention in Des Moines. I look forward to meeting many of you, discussing fraternal business and planning for the future of our beloved Iowa Knights of Columbus.
The key to our future is more brother Sir Knights in every part of Iowa. This past fraternal year we offered seven exemplifications across our District (including last year’s convention) bringing in new vigour to all parts of our state. We need to repeat that number again in the coming year. Please be open to hosting an exemplification.
A reminder that the flag pin is being phased out of use in the honor guard and color corps. The flag pin is still acceptable and encouraged to wear during social events outside of the color corps to demonstrate our patriotism.
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.
Something that has not changed for us is the impulse at the heart of what it means to be a Sir Knight. Religiously devoted and patriotically proud we of the fourth degree promote 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 amongst the most loyal of its citizens. The life of a Sir Knight is meant to exemplify the truest sense of these principles and we support each other as brothers in this endeavor.
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 desire to become better men and together we will do great things for God and country. The level of involvement is completely your choice as suits your time.
I will be available throughout the week end and would appreciate hearing from many of you on the challenges we face and the successes you’ve engineered with God’s help.