My Brother Sir Knights, September 1, 2017
On this my first day as Master for the Iowa District I wish to supply information and guidance as to changes with the 4th Degree Regalia. As many of you may already know, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson announced at the 135th Convention this past August the Board’s decision to modernize the 4th degree Color Guard uniform. Not surprisingly, there has been much passionate comment about the new uniform.
Serving in the Honor Guard is a highly visible and for many deeply satisfying tradition of the 4th degree of our order as it should be. I remind you that this is an optional involvement by members whose primary commitment is to the preservation of our Church, our Country and to serve as examples of Christ's presence in the world. Those promises are still fresh in my heart 25 years after my own entry into the Patriotic Degree of the Knights of Columbus.
Other promises and duties preceded these – namely those of the Admission, Formation and Knighthood degrees as we committed to the principles taught and promised to ourselves in the presence of brothers to exemplify them in our lives from that day forward. We suspected then promise keeping would not always be easy.
Regardless our opinion of the new uniform it is important to remember that our Order has survived and grown over the years through many previous changes. This is due to every Knight of Columbus working together under the principles of our Order: Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.
Change can be difficult especially when it involves a tradition deeply cherished by many Knights. Our challenge as leaders in our assemblies and as Knights generally will be to continue to respect the roots of our tradition while we adapt and embrace change.
During the coming months, I ask for support from the Iowa District as we Knights work our way through this time of change. Conduct business as usual making the appropriate adaptations to accommodate change. As leaders, keep your assemblies focused on the work of the Patriotic Degree. Remain positive and remind brother Knights when necessary that we are much more than the uniform we wear.
I know that many of you may also reach out to Steve Vonnahme our district secretary. Steve has taken on new responsibilities as our State Warden. Respectful of the duties this position entails I’m happy to announce that Jim Bates of Urbandale has agreed to take over as district secretary (515-770-3039, firstname.lastname@example.org). You can contact either Sir Knight with questions and I ask your patience as we make this transition.
Attached are additional information and ideas for you to consider and share with your assemblies. As the 25% discount on the new uniform expires at the end of September please act quickly to inform our brothers of this opportunity.
I am available for consultation whenever you need a word of encouragement or just a ready ear.