PUTNAM — The Quiet Corner’s Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus are looking back on a successful fraternal year of service just completed, while looking forward to a great year already under way.
“We’re very pleased with what we’ve done for veterans,” said Faithful Navigator Matthew R. Frederick, of Brooklyn, taking a break from cooking at the Aug. 14 annual Fourth Degree assembly picnic. Having begun his one-year term on July 1, Frederick is the elected leader of the Right Rev. Monsignor Jean C. Mathieu Fourth Degree Assembly 114, based in Putnam, with 170 members from Ashford to Moosup.
“Over the past year several of our members made four trips on Sundays to the veteran’s hospital in West Haven,” Frederick said, talking about the assembly’s continuing support of the 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 chapel at the hospital. They’re needed because hospital orderlies don’t work on Sundays.”
Also, in the last year the assembly bought and personally delivered 50 new Catholic missals for patients and visitors. At the same time, the Knights collected and delivered new toiletries and used cell phones for all patients at the hospital.
“The books have helped our people live their faith in a very special way,” said Rev. Christopher Opara, one of the hospital’s two Catholic chaplains. The priests had asked for the missals last fall. “The books have all the music and the readings the people need to celebrate Mass here throughout the year. We’re very grateful, because this allows them all to fully participate.
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. Many people have seen Fourth Degree Knights at a parade, funeral or other event, wearing their black tuxedos and colorful knee-length silk capes and ostrich-plumed hats.
What is not generally known, however, is that fewer than one out of five of the world’s 1.9 million Knights of Columbus have taken on the optional, extra commitment of joining the Fourth Degree. Every Fourth Degree Knight is also a member of a local K of C council. Nearly all of the members of Mathieu Assembly 114 are also members of a local council in northern Windham County, with a few participating in local councils elsewhere.
“We’re very proud of what our state’s 5,500 Fourth Degree Knights do to support our veterans and our country,” said Connecticut District Master of the Fourth Degree Charles H. Sullivan, of Southington, who oversees operations statewide. “The Knights of Columbus is in 13 countries throughout the world. The Fourth Degree is there to support patriotism and the Catholic Church in each of those countries. It’s wonderful to see that Mathieu Assembly 114 is setting such a great example of patriotism in northeastern Connecticut.”
RocketTheme Joomla Templates