K of C 5-11-17

PUTNAM — In April, 1951, during the Korean war, President Harry Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur of his command in Far East. Also in April, the classic sci-fi film, “The Thing,” was released by RKO. On the 21st of the month, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Montreal Canadiens four games to one, to win the Stanley Cup.
Meanwhile, also on the 21st, local Knights of Columbus met in Danielson to start a Fourth Degree assembly to serve the area: Right Rev. Monsignor Jean C. Mathieu Assembly 114.
Today, 66 years later, Assembly 114 is based in Putnam, with more than 170 members, stretching from Ashford to Moosup.
“It’s humbling to think that we’re still here and thriving,” said Faithful Navigator Matthew R. Frederick, of Brooklyn. Frederick is the organization’s elected leader. “We can look back at seven decades of service and we’re just as strong and active now as we’ve ever been.”
Frederick and other assembly members commemorated their 66th anniversary on April 17, with a celebration and prayer at their headquarters at the Cargill Council 64 Knights of Columbus Hall on Providence Street. Council 64 shares its hall with the assembly.
“There’s a great history behind us and a great future ahead of us,” Frederick said.
The Fourth Degree, also known as the Patriotic Degree, is part of the worldwide Knights of Columbus organization, a fraternal benefit society made up of Catholic men and their families. People often see Fourth Degree Knights in church, at a parade, funeral or at other events, wearing their black tuxedos and colorful regalia, including knee-length silk capes, with matching swords and distinctive ostrich-plumed hats. With almost 5,100 members in Connecticut, the Fourth Degree exists to support patriotism, the Catholic Church, its members and their families in the 13 countries around the world where the K of C exists.
Frederick said that Assembly 114 takes service to veterans seriously.
“Four times a year for over a decade several of our members have made trips on Sundays to the veteran’s hospital in West Haven,” he said, talking about the assembly’s continuing support of patients at the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital at the other end of the state. “They drove over 180 miles round-trip every three months to bring Catholic patients to and from Mass in the hospital’s chapel. They’re needed because hospital orderlies don’t work on Sundays.”
At the same time, the Knights collected and delivered new toiletries and used cell phones for all patients at the hospital. Also, for the last three years the assembly bought and personally delivered 50 new Catholic missals for use by patients and visitors.
Assembly 114 also holds a picnic every summer for members and their families.  
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