20 September Notes from the Iowa District:
Worthy Sir Knights:
I was as favorably impressed by our Supreme Knight’s message in his state of the Order address to this year’s 138th Supreme Convention. I encourage you to read the complete address which can be downloaded here: https://www.kofc.org/en/resources/convention/2020/annual-report-of-the-supreme-knight.pdf
You will also want to watch the address – I especially call you your attention Brother Anderson’s mention of the 4th Degree and patriotism beginning at approximately 8 min 30 secs into the video: https://www.kofc.org/un/en/news-room/convention/2020/supreme-knight-speech-video.html
For those of you who contacted me inquiring about when our order would speak about some of the deplorable actions taken against our patron Christopher Columbus, and Saint Junipero Serra and others you will be encouraged I believe by these resolutions which included one in honor of Columbus: https://www.kofc.org/en/news-room/convention/2020/resolutions/index.html
For your consideration this excerpt from our Vice Supreme Master Patrick O’Keefe’s message for August:
“Now it is time to help lead your Districts in performing additional programs during this pandemic. The “Leave No Neighbor Behind” program is outstanding and has activated our Councils and Assemblies to help those most in need during these tough times. So, get on the phone and work with your Assemblies to get them activated!
Secondly, every Assembly should be meeting virtually. If you have some that are not, find out why and help them with the technology they need in order to come back into contact with each other as a group of likeminded Catholic Gentleman. We must lead the way in the protections of our God-given and constitutional rights. Evil anarchists in the world are destroying our history and tearing down statues including Columbus and St. Junipero Serra.
This will not end with good men standing by and doing nothing. We will lead the way to protect our Faith, protect our History, and Serve our Country.”
Our State Council Organizational meeting was held on the second weekend of July. Presentations from the weekend have made available online. These are the raw, unedited video recordings of the opening and closing sessions as well as all the weekend's presentations including your district master. You can visit http://iowakofc.org/virtualmeeting to view them.
Virtual Sunday September 13th
· Honoree – Our Lady of Sorrows
· I ask especially that Assemblies make every effort to invite their Chaplain or Deacon to take advantage of these virtual exemplification opportunities.
· Further information: https://www.iowakofc.org/post/virtual-patriotic-exemplification-september-13-7pm
· Register in advance for this Zoom exemplification meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0rcuqgpzssGNGQptdbBi-pTToFJmPaMp_T After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
To build a healthy fourth-degree district in Iowa we need new Sir Knights in every part of the state. Experience shows that having more exemplifications results in more men stepping up to become Sir Knights. As it is doubtful in the near term that we will be doing in-person exemplifications, I ask all assembles to embrace the virtual option to reach our principles of Catholic citizenship and patriotism. The time commitment is much less and frankly, the lessons are better delivered as there are fewer distractions.
Christ Our Life Conference – Des Moines
This premium regional faith event will be still held in person September 26-27th. Due to COVID precautions participation is limited so not as many Honor Guard are needed as in the past. Still, this is a call out for at least 20 Sir Knights in new Uniform to participate. The opportunity will be most convenient for Sir Knights in the Des Moines metro area.
The conference has a Knights sign-up on the Christ Our Life web page under the "Volunteer" tab. The link to the website is https://www.christourlifeiowa.com/volunteers.
If anyone has questions, they can contact Brother Bruce Melhop at 515-238-6251 and he will help them get signed up.
This year all of us can participate virtually in the conference as the talks will be live-streamed. This is very convenient for especially older members concerned about attending in person. Please inform your assemblies of this option.
Get out the Vote
It is impossible to escape that this is an important election year. As Catholic citizens and Sir Knights, we are called upon to promote and support our representative government processes and right now especially participation in the voting process.
The Supreme council makes available excellent parish-based non-partisan resources to help councils and assemblies participate in “Get out the Vote.”
Now is the time for all assemblies to plan for participation. While organizing a “Ride to the Polls” initiative is NOT in the cards for this COVID year; you can certainly take the opportunity to do a public awareness campaign about the importance of every citizen exercising the right to vote. Ask for parish bulletin space to encourage participation and educate on issues.
Remember: partisan politics are not allowed in the Order or in any of its council chambers!
Honor Guard for Wakes & Funerals
I want to reiterate to all especially new officers; honor guards and color corps turnouts are to be in the new uniform without exception; i.e. no old regalia permitted.
Upon the death of Knight or a member of his family, the main impulse of his brother Knights toward the fallen brother and his family is one of prayerful support and visible presence at the wake and funeral. Your District Master is encouraging all Sir Knights to participate at wakes and funerals in either the new uniform OR in Social attire, namely a tuxedo or dark suit and the social baldric. Sir Knights participating in 4th-degree social attire may be referred to as being part of a 4th Degree Escort. Strictly speaking, these brothers are not part of the honor guard. Their presence is nonetheless an important sign of support and fraternity.
When an honor guard of Sir Knights is present, they should take the lead in any line-up or procession and the 4th Degree Escort Sir Knights should follow them in procession. Sir Knights in social attire may stand at the casket showing respect and honor for their brother -- however, care must be taken to pair new uniforms with other new uniforms and likewise those in social attire with other social attire to provide as much visual uniformity as possible.
Last September 2019 we used a modified approach which I have attached for your consideration. The important component here is the permitted use of a sheathed sword wrapped in his rosary by a Sir Knight participating in a 4th Degree Escort. This is not a requirement of participation in a wake or funeral but rather an option for the assembly captain.
Finally, during this time of wearing masks, it is required that all in the honor guard and escort wear black masks only.
Faith & Blue Weekend
In the wake of the unrest in our nation and ongoing dialogue about bias and systemic racism, a consortium of law enforcement organizations and church denominations have partnered to host the National Faith & Blue Weekend scheduled for October 9 through 12, 2020.
Every major law enforcement membership organization in the United States is collaborating with the One Congregation One Precinct Initiative to jointly organize an innovative and historic police-faith community project. This event is being coordinated by the US Department of Justice Office of Community Orientated Policing Services (COPS Office) and planning began prior to the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis which just highlighted the importance of enhanced relationship building between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
With faith denominations representing 350,000 worship sites and churches representing 65,000,000 weekly attendees, there is no better place then to encourage our churches, mosques, and synagogues to partner with their local law enforcement agencies to foster understanding, dialogue, and relationship building. Our Catholic Church is heavily represented in this program all across our nation.
I’ve been tasked by our worthy state deputy to encourage participation. If your assembly is interested in hosting an event in your community or at your parish please visit www.faithandblue.org where you can download free of charge a toolkit on how to organize, updated media templates, and resource information pertaining to the Faith & Blue Weekend.
Keep your District and State Officers in the communications about your event.
As of December 1, 2019, the 4th-degree uniform is only being sold by an authorized domestic provider, The Supply Room, (TSR). TSR is a world-class, leading distributor of military and law enforcement uniforms, located in Oxford, Alabama. In addition to 100+ years of experience and a solid reputation for quality, they will offer customer service representatives dedicated to Knights of Columbus uniform orders.
Our uniforms will remain of the highest quality, while the cost will drop to $449.
We must deal directly with TSR to place an order for uniforms and color beret patch. It is each member’s responsibility to properly place their order. The Supreme Masters Office will not accept order requests.
The web site of TSR for distribution to our brother knights is https://www.kofcuniform.com/. The customer service number remains the same and is available at 1-866-562-4327. TSR customer service can assist with questions regarding uniforms ordered from the previous fulfillment company.
Installation of Officers
Laws and rules of the Fourth Degree require that assembly officers be installed no later than the first regular meeting in October. As with so many other activities, social distancing makes installation more challenging. Our Knights leadership has seen fit to create a virtual ceremonial for the installation of assembly officers. This ceremony is authorized for immediate use where traditional physical ceremonies cannot be performed. This new ceremony retains key elements of the traditional ceremony with appropriate modifications for digital venues.
I see this as an additional opportunity for myself to interact with our assembly officers since I am limited in my ability to attend assembly activities. Send your request and several potential dates to me (email@example.com) so that I may schedule a virtual installation and Q&A with your officers.
The installation manual is posted at www.iowakofc.org/patriotism
Master’s Contribution reminder:
· Bishop’s Catholic Communications Fund: @$3.00 per each Dues Paying Member
o These monies go to the Bishops
· Master’s Fund: @ $1.50 per each Dues Paying Member
o These monies are used by the Master to defray exemplification and administrative costs
Please be timely in your submission of assembly forms. NOTE that all copies of forms indicating they be sent to State Master should be mailed to District Secretary, Jim Bates at 15102 Brookview Drive, Urbandale, IA 50323-2567 or emailed to Jim at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Report due dates are listed in the Assembly Report Forms Booklet sent annually to each assembly. Forms can also be found on the Supreme Council website at http://kofc.org/un/en/officers/forms/assembly.html. Assembly officers need to get their copy of the Fraternal Survey completed and sent in now.
New assembly Navigators get access to Officers Online. Form 186 election of officers when submitted should have triggered your access. If you do not have access do not contact me or the Supreme Master’s office. The Supreme Masters office does not handle the input of assembly officers and does not give out access to Officers Online. Assemblies should be reaching out to the membership department 203-752-4210 option 1 regarding the access. If there are any questions, please let me know.
Please check with our District Secretary if you have any questions. NOTE: forms need to be sent to both Supreme and State separately; Jim or I will monitor and update Supreme if we have the form and they do not have a record of the same. See below:
Mailing of Communications:
Please remember to send all important communication to the proper individuals to expedite reception and processing. Forms such as 1315,186, etc. can be e-mailed to addresses provided on the bottom of the forms. If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Executive Administrative Assistant - Supreme Master
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
There are several awards available to recognize assemblies that are engaged in programs supporting the vision and goals of the 4th degree. I encourage each assembly to work toward the Civic Award and the “To Be a Patriot” award.
· The Civic Award is a tribute to the spirit of patriotism and national pride exemplified by the assembly’s program of activities. To qualify, the assembly must conduct and report at least four varied patriotic programs held within the fraternal year.
· The “To Be a Patriot” Award annually recognizes the three best patriotic programs conducted by Fourth Degree Assemblies each fraternal year. The assembly must submit a report on their single best patriotic activity on form #TBP-2 and send it directly to the Master by April 30.
· The Supreme Council now awards the “Star Assembly Award” It includes the above two distinctions and several other items. I encourage assembly leadership to review the requirements and make them part of your yearly goals.
Star Assembly Award 2020-2021
Make sure your Assemblies plan to earn the Star Assembly Award for this fraternal year. As a reminder, here are the requirements for this Award.
• Publish and distribute to the Assembly membership a minimum of six Assembly Newsletters during the 2020-2021 fraternal year. A copy of each newsletter must also be sent (either in print or electronically) to the District Master, and Vice Supreme Master
• Meet the Assembly’s membership goal with a net gain of 7% additions over deletions.
• Complete and submit the Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity (#1728), which is due January 31, 2021.
• Complete and submit to your District Master by April 30, 2021, the “To Be a Patriot Award” application.
• Earn the Civic Award by conducting a minimum of four patriotic programs during the 2020-2021 fraternal year and reporting those programs to the Supreme Master by June 30, 2021, on the “Civic Award” application.
• Complete and submit the “Report of Officers Chosen for the Term” (#186) by June 30, 2021.
Attachments referenced in this communication are attached for your review:
· Installation of Assembly Officers_Virtual Ceremony.pdf
· Form 4 Processing for an Online Exemplification.pdf