Need for Faithful Purser posted 11 Aug 2020


Sir Knights:
The purpose of this email is to clarify that our Assembly is still in need of a Faithful Purser.  This is an important position, but it requires just a small amount of time, e.g., twenty hours or so per YEAR!  What skills are required? The ability to balance a checkbook, write and disseminate checks and coordination with the Faithful Comptroller and FN.     Again, this is an important and crucial position.  We need one Brother SK to step forward and serve our Assembly.  Call or text me at 352 328 9240.
Vivat Jesus
SK Ron Chmiel, PGK, FN        

Information on Assembly 2563 posted 9 Aug2020

 Dear Brother Sir Knights,

The purpose of this email is to advise you that I have succeeded Don Wirtz     
as FN. SK Tom Brown has accepted the duties of Faithful Captain. Don is now our Three Year Trustee.  Other officers fortunately agreed to remain office.  Thank you, Sir Knights!  We are precluded by the Supreme Master from having a formal installation ceremony because of COVID 19 quarantine/social distancing guidance.  Similarly, we are instructed to hold no meetings or socials during this pandemic crisis.  That being said, we can still remain active as Sir Knights by actively supporting and participating in our home parish and council activities.  Wear your name tag to Mass to remain visible, for example.  Reach out to men who may be interested in joining the KofC and one day becoming Sir Knights. Of course, pray for an end to this pandemic.  Prayer is our powerful weapon to defeat this virus.
You recall that Daniel Duplantis was the seminarian our Assembly supported via RSVP.  Daniel was ordained in June 2020. Congratulations Father Daniel.  We now support a new seminarian: Brent Thayer.  Brent attends St Meinrad Seminary in Indiana.  This summer he is attending Air Force Officer Candidate School at Maxwell AFB.  Keep Brent in your prayers.
I will endeavor to stay in touch with you regularly via this email system.  You can contact me by cell or text at 352 328-9240.
Vivat Jesus
SK Ron Chmiel, PGK, FN                                         

Message from FN posted 9 June 2020

On Tue, Jun 9, 2020, 11:50 Don Wirtz <> wrote:
Gentlemen - I've put this message off as long as possible, hoping to
hear further from the District Master regarding our restricted operating
status. On April 18th, I (and all FNs) received a very pointed email
from Rick Langheim (District Sec.) stating that any and all Assembly
meetings/activities, of any kind, are to be suspended, until further

I polled our officers about two events, our June picnic, then scheduled
for 6-17 and our upcoming elections. The consensus was that we postpone
the picnic, perhaps doing it in the Fall, as one of our normal Socials.
Therefore, this is official notice that the June picnic is cancelled and
it will be the decision of the new administration as to when/if we have
a picnic.

That brings up the second matter which is officer elections. We toyed
with the idea of some sort of on-line/email election but concluded that
we can easily delay elections until we are able to meet. That means the
Faithful Navigator and Faithful Comptroller would have to continue in
their current rolls, past our normal 6-30 changeover date. I have
cleared this with our (likely) new FN and he is agreeable. Unless I hear
objections, this is the road we will travel.

However, for different reasons, our Purser cannot continue indefinitely.
We must recruit a new Purser as quickly as possible and both Ron Chmiel
and myself have been unsuccessful, to this point, but we will continue
our efforts.  I ask each of you, especially those who have not yet held
an officer roll in the Assembly, to prayerfully consider taking this
Purser position.

As for now and the next few weeks, I will continue to keep you informed
as we look forward to being able to meet again.

I remind all of you to let any Assembly officer know, if any Sir Knight
is in need of assistance.

God be with you all.

Vviat Jesus

Don Wirtz, FN

spring email from FN posted 1may2020

Brother Sir Knights-    After a long drought it's time for communication from your FN. I hope this finds you and your family safe, healthy and secure. These last 10 weeks have been unlike anything I've ever experienced and unless you can remember early WWII, that probably goes for you too. It looks like there may be a tiny light at the end of the tunnel so I'd like to bring you up to date on what's happened...and not happened at 2563.
Our last activity, about 10 weeks ago, was a successful Spay & Neuter Clinic. Thank you to Dr. Mitchell and his staff for all they do and to Doc for his generous contribution to the Assembly. That puts us on strong financial ground for the upcoming year. As you know, we missed both the Feb Social and a March Business meeting, because of the shut-down.
Looking forward, a couple notable events are: 1) our Assembly election of officers and 2) our Annual picnic.
 1) In a normal year, we would announce our candidates at 3 consecutive meetings, prior to elections at the June business meeting. this year, this message is going to have to suffice, with more on elections to follow in #2.
As I've previously noted, Ron Chmiel,  Faithful Captain, has agreed to head the slate as candidate for Faithful Navigator. Ron's experience and dedication will put 2563 in good hands for, hopefully, the next two years. That leaves the F. Captains role vacant and I'm very pleased to tell you that current GK (12126 - BR), Tom Brown, has agreed to take that role. Per our tradition, that sets us up for another experienced person to lead the Assembly, 2 years down the road. Obviously lots can happen over 2 years but at least we have a loose plan. Thank You, Tom.
Again, I'm hoping all other officers agree to retain their current roles (I'm sure Ron agrees). However, most of you know,  Faithful Purser Mark Fiedler is moving to Canton, as soon as he is recovered from a 2nd (actually, 3rd) knee surgery. I believe Ron is looking for someone to fill that role so anyone who is willing and able to step into that position, please contact Ron.  A sincere thank you to Mark for all the fine work he has done for 2563. So, the slate of candidates is:
                                                   Faithful Navigator    -      Ron Chmiel
                                                   F. Captain                  -      Tom Brown
                                                   F. Pilot                       -      Pete Winne
                                                   F. Admiral                 -      Dave Schmidt 
                                                   F. Comptroller          -     Jerry Gerbig
                                                   F. Purser                    -     tbd   
                                                   F. Scribe                    -      Ralph Reuter
                                                   F. Inner Sentinel      -      Bob Soph
                                                   F. Outer Sentinel     -      Glenn Harahan
                                                   1 year Trustee  -  Bill Lyon,     2 yr Trustee  -   tbd     and  3 yr Trustee  -  Don Wirtz
2) Our Ron Henry Park picnic will not be held in May, as Fannin Co facilities (the park) remain closed thru the end of May. We have reserved the shelter house for June 17th, so assuming all goes well we will celebrate our "re-opening" on that date. Details need to be worked out and a separate email will be coming to you, in early May, asking for your RSVP response. Mark your calendars now for June 17th.
As previously noted, we may go ahead and conduct an "election" at the picnic. That would be our earliest and only opportunity, before July 1st. I'll confer with the Trustees and let you know about that.
Again, I hope all of you are managing this pandemic and have been able to keep your families, and your Faith, strong. Remember, if any of you need help, or if you know of a Brother SK, who needs help, please contact any officer and the Assembly will do everything we can to assist.
Vivat Jesus
Don Wirtz, FN

Military Chaplains Get Creative to Keep Spiritual Community Afloat posted 15Apr2020

We're living in strange times. For many, daily life has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sometimes, we need a little faith to get us through, and that's what Defense Department chaplains are working to bolster during this disruption.
Since people can't congregate as they normally do, chaplains from all faiths are reaching out virtually to their communities. They're holding online services and using the web, phone calls and other practices to counsel members looking for guidance.
"Chaplains and religious program specialists at all levels must find creative ways to minimize risk while continuing to serve," Chaplain (Rear Adm.) Brent W. Scott, the Navy's chief of chaplains, said. "It is during times like these that the mission of the Chaplain Corps is most vital."
"Chaplains have great resources, and they are here to care for your soul whether you're a person of faith or not," Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Thomas L. Solhjem, the Army's chief of chaplains, said. 
Mental health among service members is a big concern. Religious leaders know that social distancing can be hard, especially for those who live and work alone. That's why their message of "more social distancing, less disconnection" is crucial for service members who must continue their missions.
"Chaplains are using creative ways to push encouraging and supportive words," Chaplain (Lt. Col.) James Foster, the chaplain for the Army's 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York, said. "There are numerous daily and weekly messages published on brigade and battalion Facebook pages, and some chaplains have even established their own YouTube or unit-specific religious support social media pages."
This video shows chaplains are getting pretty crafty:
Video Player
Chaplains said virtual turnout for religious services has increased since the pandemic began. While streaming religious services normally get only a few hundred views at best, they said their audiences have grown into the thousands.
There are still some physical ways chaplains are able to serve, too — while maintaining social distancing and using personal protective equipment, of course. Over Easter weekend, Fort Knox, Kentucky, held a drive-in, nondenominational service filled with messages, prayers, readings and live music. At Camp Zama, Japan, drive-up communion is being made available weekly outside the chapel for Catholics after Mass is livestreamed, and Protestants can receive communion inside the chapel for one hour on Thursdays.
Chaplains have also been helping to deliver care packages to those in quarantine. It's something they're encouraging others to do, too — safely, of course.
"Think of others at this difficult time," Army Chaplain (Capt.) Moshe Lans, Fort Drum's rabbi, said. "If capable, consider sending something to quarantined people. Food, flowers, cards, notes, gift cards, calling them on the telephone are all ways to let the quarantined person in your life know that you are together despite being physically separate."
Many in the military faith-based community are grateful for their faith leaders' willingness to adapt. 
"It is most important during these times of hardship and uncertainty because it is now, more than ever, that we need to keep our faith and still keep our religious routine," Army Sgt. 1st Class Cruzy Cruz, a Catholic who attended Camp Zama's drive-in communion on Palm Sunday, said. 
Some chaplains are reminding the faithful that, while this isn't an easy time, it's a good time to recharge their batteries.
"For many of us, this is a much-needed chance to slow down, to read, to grow in our faith and to count our blessings," Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Steven A. Schaick, the Air Force's chief of chaplains, said in a video message. "Let me be clear, though — this is hard, and this is very real."

Letter from Carl Anderson regarding coronavirus posted 12mar2020

March 11, 2020
Dear Fraternal Leader,

The Knights of Columbus is carefully monitoring the coronavirus situation and its impact on the Order. Since the virus is spread by personal contact, containment efforts stress social distancing by restricting travel, meetings and other gatherings. Accordingly, the Supreme Council most strongly recommends the following actions to protect brother Knights and others:

  • Cancel all personal contact meetings, including business meetings, until further notice.
  • Cancel all planned events, where people would gather, until further notice. 
  • Cancel all travel for Knights of Columbus business until further notice.

There are many ways to continue council operations without face to face contact.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Conduct meetings by conference call, Skype, Google Groups or other methods.
  • Use a webinar service for large meetings like monthly business meetings.
  • Allow member votes by email or text to approve bills and candidate admissions.
  • Use the email feature of Officers Online for member communications.
  • Set up a call tree to contact members and ascertain their wellbeing.
  • Conduct degree ceremonies in homes using the combined Exemplification of Charity, Unity and Fraternity video or the First Degree video.
  • Use applications like “Go fund me” to digitally raise funds for causes.

Additional information is available for members and their families on the websites of the CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL and WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION  Be aware that the elderly and sick are highly vulnerable to this disease.

This is a moment to deepen our commitment to the very principles which define us: charity, unity and fraternity. There will likely be many opportunities in coming weeks to live out these principles in service to our brother Knights, our families and our communities. May this time of difficulty also be a moment when we as Knights step into the breach and show ourselves to be disciples of Jesus Christ and men at the service of others.

Assembly Remaining year schedule posted 3mar2020

 Sir Knights - Having concluded a very nice Valentine's social in Feb and a very successful Spay -Neuter Clinic, I don't see anything of significance on our calendar until the May picnic social and then a June business meeting for election of officers. The question arises as to the need for a March Business meeting and/or a meeting in April. I don't see any pressing business on our plate for this month.

After querying the officers it was decided to cancel the March business meeting, have an April business meeting  (15th, at St Francis), the May picnic and a June election meeting (17th, at St Anthony). Mark your calendars.
I do want to take a moment to express the Assemblies appreciation to Dr. William Mitchell (and all the Sir Knights who  assisted that day) for conducting a very successful S-N Clinic. Although the numbers (cats) were down this year, Dr Mitchell presented a check for $1,000, to the Assembly for our help. I sincerely believe that check is much more "profit" than the clinic generated and Doc "rounded up" his contribution significantly. Thank you Dr. Mitchell, and your staff, for your ongoing generosity.Also, it's time to set our officer slate for the upcoming year. Faithful Captain, Ron Chmiel has graciously agreed to take over the Faithful Navigators role. You all know Ron's capabilities as Grand Knight of 11746 and many other roles he has taken at St Francis. I know for certain, that, with Ron as FN, 2563 will be in excellent hands.
I have asked that all of you officers re-up for his administration! I hope Ron and I can count on each and every one of you to step up for another term. Given that, we do have to fill the Faithful Captains role. Any recommendations?
Also, I regret to inform you, Mark Fiedler is in the process of building a house in (Marietta?) and will be moving as soon as his knee/surgery will allow. So, we will need to fill the Purser's position. This is an important role, mainly handling the Assembly check book and coordinating with our Faithful Comptroller to ensure deposits and checks are in balance.  If one of you would consider that position, I'd like to talk with you. Also consider other Sir Knights that might be a good fit. I will be moving into a Trustee role to relieve Dave P. from any further "extra" duty.
I think all of us can be proud of the condition of the Assembly and the things we achieve.  I thank each of you for the excellent work you have done, and do, to maintain our success in serving our parishes and holding true to our guiding principle: Patriotism.
Look forward to any suggestions you have.
Vivat Jesus,
Don Wirtz, FN 

Passing of Supreme Knight Virgil Dechant posted 19feb2020

Virgil Dechant, long-serving KofC Supreme Knight, dies at 89

Virgil Dechant. Courtesy photo.
Virgil Dechant. Courtesy photo.
.- The longest serving Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus died Saturday at 89.
Virgil Dechant was Supreme Knight from 1977 to 2000. He died in his sleep Feb. 15.
“God has called home a good man and one of the Knights’ great leaders,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said in a Feb. 16 statement.
“Virgil Dechant used to say that his goal was to leave the Knights better than he found it, and in myriad ways, he accomplished that. He leaves a lasting legacy and an excellent example of what it means to be a Knight and a fraternalist,” Anderson added.
The Knights of Columbus say Dechant was instrumental in helping to grow the Knights of Columbus, and fostering the organization’s collaboration with the Vatican during the pontificate of Pope St. John Paul II.
Dechant “forged a close relationship with the Vatican during the pontificate of St. John Paul II, leading the Order to sponsor numerous renovation projects – including of the fa├žade of St. Peter’s Basilica, and working with the pope to promote the faith in Eastern Europe, which was then behind the iron curtain,” the Knights of Columbus said in a press release.
He also “oversaw tremendous growth in the Order’s membership as well as in its assets and insurance business, while also opening the Order to greater involvement by the wives and families of its members,” according to the statement.
Dechant was a Kansas native who farmed, sold farm equipment, and owned a car dealership before he began working for the Knights of Columbus as Supreme Secretary in 1967. He became Supreme Knight ten years later.
In recognition of his committment to the pro-life movement, Dechant received the National Right to Life Award in 1998. He was also the recipient of several Vatican honors,
In 2005, he escorted President George W. Bush to the funeral of Pope St. John Paul II at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. 
In 2012, Anderson said that his predecessor “was the model of Catholic fraternalism for an entire generation."
Dechant is survived by his wife Ann, four children, and the couple's grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Passing and arrangements for William (Bill) Borowski posted 18feb2020

Sir Knights  - I regret to have to inform you of the unexpected passing
of Brother Sir Knight William (Bill) Borowski. Bill died, unexpectedly,
at his home in Young Harris on Sunday.

He and his wife AJ were members of Immaculate Heart of Mary CC in
Haysville, NC where Bill will be buried. The funeral will be at St
Francis (Blairsville) on Sat the 22nd at Noon.

Our prayers go out to Bill's family and that his soul may rest in peace,
in God's hands.

Vivat Jesus

Don Wirtz, FN

Valentines Social posted 5feb2020

Valentines Social...

Sir Knights - I have at last been able to line up the Sawmill Place, 1150 Pat Haralson Dr. Blairsville 30512, for our Valentine's Social on Feb 19th.  Following is the menu, be sure to RSVP me with your choice of 3 meats and 2 desserts.  As usual, the cost ($20) per person in all inclusive of tax and tip.
As time is short, please repond immediately. The deadline is Thurs Feb 13th.

                      Meats           Choice of      - Roast Beef
                                                                   - Grilled  chick/tarragon
                                                                   - Baked Mahi-Mahi

                       Sides                                  - Mashed potato  &  green beans

                      Bread                                 -  Yeast Roll

                     Dessert           choice of      - Banana pudding
                                                                    - Pecan pie

                    Beverage         choice of      - tea, coffee or water    (waitress would take this order from each person directly)

Sawmill Place is a very highly regarded restaurant and actually has a minimum of $1,000 per event. They will open for us as a past customer but we need a good turnout to be assured of their availability in the future.
Remember too, they don't serve alcohol so you can BYOB (wine/beer). We will have openers and plastic cups for both.  Dinner is at 6:00 but plan on arriving at 5:30 for a short Social Hour.
This will be our last social until the May picnic so do something nice for your Valentine and come enjoy great food and companionship with your Brother Sir Knights.

Don't delay, respond now.

Don Wirtz    706-632-9011