Council 15085 Celebrates Veterans Day

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Knights Serve our Vets at Veterans Restoration Quarters

Monday, March 17th, 2014
VRQ At the ABCCM Veterans’ Restoration Quarters our mission is to create a principle-based environment and comprehensive residential program that addresses every area of restoration in the life of a homeless veteran. We work to provide each man with stability, personal skill building, educational and training opportunities leading to employment and housing along with the restoration of personal dignity, faith and strength.
Bob & Sue Mateja DGK SK Chris Amsler PGK SK Stann Finn
Brother Knight Bob (and Sue) Mateja, DGK, SK Chris Amsler, PGK, SK Stan Finn and others gathered recently to serve our Vets. To learn more about the VRQ and ways you can help…. CLICK HERE

4th Degree Exemplification Scheduled

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Great Smoky Mountain Assembly 3001

 Saturday May 3rd, 2014  9:30 AM

St John the Evangelist Catholic Church
234 Church St.
Waynesville, NC 28786
( Map )

We are proud to be the host Council for the upcoming 4th Degree. CLICK HERE for copies of the necessary forms that must be filled out by any candidate OR observer planning to attend the May 3rd 2014 exemplification here in Waynesville. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dick Hamel at; H-(828)-926-8974  /  C-(828)- 734-3045 or e-mail:

Knights help Wounded Warrior Leave Program

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

The Knights of Columbus Council #15085, from St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Waynesville, collected funds for North Carolina Province’s  wounded warrior program the Sunday before Veteran’s Day. The program, in conjunction with the Military Order of the Purple Heart, is raising funds to help send hospitalized veterans at Fort Bragg and Camp LeJeune home to spend Christmas with their families. Tax deductible donations may be made to “M.O.P.H.” and delivered to any Knight of Columbus in our area. For information about the program or to mail a donation, read more…


Knights 15085 Wounded Warrior Project

HONORING WOUNDED WARRIORS — Members of St. John the Evangelist Church in Waynesville and Knights of Columbus from the parish participated in fundraising for the Wounded Warrior Project. Pictured, from left, are Mary Anne Yurko and Knights Joe Yurko, Rusty Heuer, U.S. Navy Master Chief (ret.) Chris Amsler and Bob Mateja. ~Photo by Paul Viau

Wounded Warrior Leave Program

The Knights of Columbus in the DeSoto Province, N.C. S.C. GA. FL. PR. have been involved with the Wounded Warrior Christmas Leave Program. since 2006. The program raises funds to send Wounded Warriors from every state and some foreign countries, home for the Christmas Holiday. These Wounded Warriors are living in Barracks next to the Base Hospital. These Warriors are injured but are not required to be confined to the Hospital. The Military Order of the Purple Heart Program is administered by the Jacksonville, NC Military Order of the Purple Heart.gram.

What is the Program?

The program, through donations of citizens and organizations, (K of C, parishes, business, etc), raises funds to send military men and women, who have lost limbs or suffered other major injuries while in harms way, home for Christmas leave. No overhead costs are assessed against these funds and all moneys donated are used to send combat wounded members home.

Who Administers the Program?

The Jacksonville, NC Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart accepts donations throughout the year then coordinates approved leave status for each of the Wounded Warriors, purchases the necessary round-trip transportation tickets and ensures these brave men and women get home to their families for Christmas.

What If More Funds Are Collected Than Necessary?

This does not happen very often. Last year we actually had individuals donate to help with extra trips home.

How Can I Help?

Donations made to this program are tax deductible since this Military Order of the Purple Heart is a 501C3 Tax Status. Everyone who donates by check will receive a receipt from the MOPH, for Tax Purposes. Checks should be made out to “M.O.P.H.” with “Wounded Warrior Leave” listed in the Memo Section of the check.

Where Do I Send My Money?

To facilitate coordination, checks from Knights of Columbus Councils and Assemblies are to be sent to:
SK Robert J. Singer
2506 Canal Drive
Wilson, NC 27896-1326

This allows recording of all KofC donations to the program as well as forwarding to the MOPH on a timely basis.
*In WAYNESVILLE, you can give your check to any Knight of Columbus and he will deliver to the appropriate address.

In 2011 the Knights of Columbus in the DeSoto Province raised $81,311. This accounted for 20% of the Total Collections last year. Since 2006 the Knights of Columbus have raised $343,148, not including the 2012

Please help us assist these brave men and women who come from all walks of life and serve in the various branches, who have volunteered to protect our freedom and made tremendous sacrifices for our country.

Wreaths Across America

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Wreaths Across AmericaMorrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, was a 12 year old paper boy for the Bangor Daily News when he won a trip to Washington D.C. His first trip to our nation’s capital was one he would never forget, and Arlington National Cemetery made an especially indelible impression on him. This experience followed him throughout his life and successful career in business, reminding him that his good fortune was due, in large part, to the values of this nation and the Veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their Country.

Brother Knight Gregory BromIn 1992, Worcester Wreath found themselves with a surplus of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Remembering his boyhood experience at Arlington, Worcester realized he had an opportunity to honor our country’s Veterans. Arrangements were made for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington in one of the older sections of the cemetery, a section which had been receiving fewer visitors with each passing year.

The annual tribute went on quietly for several years, until 2005, when a photo of the stones at Arlington, adorned with wreaths and covered in snow, circulated around the internet.  Suddenly, the project received national attention. Thousands of requests poured in from all over the country from people wanting to help with Arlington, to emulate the Arlington project at their National and State cemeteries, or to simply share their stories and thank Morrill Worcester for honoring our nation’s heroes.

In 2010, Wreaths Across America and our national network of volunteers laid over 220,000 memorial wreaths at 545 locations in the United States and beyond. We were able to include ceremonies at the Pearl Harbor Memorial, as well as Bunker Hill, Valley Forge and the sites if the September 11 tragedies. We accomplished this with help from 902 fundraising groups, corporate contributions, and donations of trucking, shipping, and thousands of helping hands.

Worthy Grand Knight Lonnie Pizza

“Today I placed a wreath on the grave of an American Hero…”

On Saturday, December 15, 2012, Grand Knight Lonnie Pizza and Brother Knight Gregory Brom of Council 15085 in Waynesville, NC attended the wreath laying ceremony at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain NC. A local chapter of the Western Carolina Patriot Guard Riders, under the leadership of location coordinator John “Landmine” Collins marked the 21st year that Worcester Wreaths donated thousands of wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. This was the 7th year of the ceremony in Black Mountain, and there are over 750 cemeteries like ours, that received 7 ceremonial wreaths donated by Worcester Wreaths.

Patriot Guard Riders processed to the cemetery as a group, then through a flag line to welcome everyone, including some of our Blue Star and Gold Star Families. We ‘REMEMBER the fallen, HONOR those who serve and their families, and TEACH our children the value of freedom.”

WAA is committed to teaching younger generations about the value of their freedoms, and the importance of honoring those who sacrificed so much to protect those freedoms. We offer learning tools, interactive media projects, and opportunities for youth groups to participate in our events. We also work to create opportunities to connect “the Greatest Generation” with the “Generation of Hope”. The inspirational stories of our World War II Veterans must be passed on to the leaders of the future. To learn more visit


Wreaths Across America

Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery, Black Mountain, N.C. Wreaths Across America Ceremony

Considering 4th Degree?

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Another degree open to members of the Knights of Columbus is that of the Fourth (or Patriotic) Degree. On February 22, 1900, the first Fourth Degree exemplification or degree ceremony was held in New York City. The Fourth Degree imparts a lesson on the virtue of patriotism. The primary purpose of this degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism in members and the community at large and encourage active Catholic citizenship. Today there are some 300,000 Fourth Degree Knights out of the total 1.6 million member Knights of Columbus.

At the recent (November 28, 2012) Board of Directors meeting, the Knights of Columbus approved a resolution eliminating the requirement that a Knight of Columbus serve for six months as a Third Degree member before advancing to the Fourth Degree. This is great news for anyone in Council 15085 considering the Fourth Degree exemplification to be held March 9, 2013. CLICK HERE for more.

Knights of Columbus ~ Pledge of Allegiance

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Civility in America

The Knights of Columbus

and the Pledge of Allegiance

The Knights of Columbus played a large role in the addition of “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.  When the Pledge was originally written by Francis Bellamy in 1892, it originally read:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

After a proclamation by President Benjamin Harrison, the Pledge was first used in public schools on October 12, 1892, during Columbus Day observances organized to coincide with the opening of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1923 the National Flag Conference called for the words “my Flag” to be changed to “the Flag of the United States”, for the benefit of new immigrants, and the words “of America” were added a year later. The United States Congress officially recognized the Pledge as the official national pledge on June 22, 1942.  At a meeting on February 12, 1948, Lincoln’s Birthday, Louis A. Bowman, Chaplain of the Illinois Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, led the Society in swearing the Pledge with two words added, “under God.”  Bowman repeated his revised version of the Pledge at subsequent meetings.

Three years later, in 1951, the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization, also began including the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. On April 30, 1951, the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus adopted a resolution to amend the text of their Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of each of the meetings of the 800 Fourth Degree Assemblies of the Knights of Columbus by adding the words “under God” after the words “one nation.” Over the next two years, the idea spread throughout Knights of Columbus organizations nationwide. At the annual meeting on August 21, 1952, the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus adopted a resolution urging that the change be made universal and copies of this resolution were sent to the President, the Vice President (as Presiding Officer of the Senate) and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The National Fraternal Congress meeting in Boston on September 24, 1952, adopted a similar resolution upon the recommendation of its president, Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart. Several State Fraternal Congresses acted likewise almost immediately thereafter. This campaign led to several failed attempts to prompt Congress to adopt the Knights of Columbus’ policy for the entire nation. DOWNLOAD the story here.

On February 7, 1954, President Eisenhower, who had been baptized a Presbyterian just a year before, attended a service honoring Abraham Lincoln at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church.  At that service, Rev. George Docherty delivered a sermon based on the Gettysburg Address arguing that the nations’ might not lay in arms but its spirit and higher purpose. Docherty noted that the Pledge’s sentiments could be those of any nation, that “there was something missing in the pledge, and that which was missing was the characteristic and definitive factor in the American way of life.” He cited Lincoln’s words “under God” as defining words that set the United States apart from other nations.  President Eisenhower said that he agreed with the sermon. In the following weeks, the news spread, and public opinion grew. Three days later, Senator Homer Ferguson, (R-MI), sponsored a bill in Congress to add “under God” to the Pledge; which was approved as a joint resolution June 8, 1954, and signed into law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954 by President Eisenhower.

If the Pledge’s historical pattern repeats, its words will be modified during this decade.  Some prolife advocates recite the following slightly revised Pledge: ‘I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, born and unborn.’




From a speech made by Capt. John S. McCain, US, (Rep) who represents Arizona in the U.S. Senate:

As you may know, I spent five and one half years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in solitary confinement or two or three to a cell. In 1971 the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room. This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs 10,000 miles from home.

One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian. Mike came from a small town near Selma, Alabama. He didn’t wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old.

At 17, he enlisted in the US Navy. He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training School. Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967.

Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country, and our military, provide for people who want to work and want to succeed. As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing. Mike got himself a bamboo needle.

Over a period of a couple of months, he created an American flag and sewed it on the inside of his shirt. Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike’s shirt on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance. I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell, it was indeed the most important and meaningful event.

One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically, and discovered Mike’s shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it. That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the benefit of all us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours.

Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in. We cleaned him up as well as we could. The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room. As I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could. After the excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian. He was sitting there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received, making another American flag.

He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to pledge our allegiance to our flag and country.

So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote freedom around the world.

You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country.

Flag of the United States of America“I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic, for which it stands,
one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

4th Degree Exempification ~ March 9, 2013

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Great Smoky Mountain Assembly 3001Knights of the Patriotic Degree are dedicated to the personal development and continued honor of brother Knights. We are always there to offer leadership, guidance, and encouragement.

Knights of the Patriotic Degree glorify God by serving our communities and nations as though Christ were the one being served.

Knights of the Patriotic Degree hold unwaveringly to what is right and honorable, working to keep God in the civic arena, serving the life of the Church, and defending laws that recognize the sanctity of life and true religious liberty.

The Color Corps is an elective division of the Patriotic Degree that presents a visible reminder of our service to the community.

Is it your time to advance to this Degree? Information and application forms available in the MEMBERS AREA