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: hamel@imountain.net

Cheerleaders from Haywood County earned honors…

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Cheerleaders from Haywood County earned honors in the 2014 Special Olympics North Carolina Cheerleading tournament in Mocksville March 1st.
Haywood Special Olympics

More than 320 Special Olympics athletes from across the state participated, said Keith L. Fishburne, president of Special Olympics North Carolina. It was the first year to have a stand-alone, state-level cheerleading competition.






Participants trained for a minimum of two months at the local level before advancing to the state-level competition. The competition tested athletes in individual skills as well as team cheerleading.Cheer03











Pope Francis named Time’s Person of the Year

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

, Associated Press


Pope Francis is seen on a portion of the cover of Time magazine’s 2013 Person of the Year issue. (AP)

NEW YORK –  Time magazine selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year on Wednesday, saying the Roman Catholic church’s new leader has changed the perception of the church in an extraordinary way in a short time.

The pope beat out NSA leaker Edward Snowden for the distinction, which the newsmagazine has been doing each year since 1927.

The former Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was selected in March as the first Latin pope. Since taking over at the Vatican, Francis has urged the Catholic church not to be obsessed with “small-minded rules” and to emphasize compassion over condemnation in dealing with touchy topics like abortion, gays and contraception.

“He really stood out to us as someone who has changed the tone and the perception and the focus of one of the world’s largest institutions in an extraordinary way,” said Nancy Gibbs, the magazine’s managing editor.

The Vatican said the honor wasn’t surprising given the resonance in the general public that Francis has had since his election, but it nevertheless said the choice was a “positive” recognition of spiritual values in the international media.

“The Holy Father is not looking to become famous or to receive honors,” said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi. “But if the choice of Person of Year helps spread the message of the Gospel — a message of God’s love for everyone — he will certainly be happy about that.”

It was the third time a Catholic pope had been Time’s selection. John Paul II was selected in 1994 and John XXIII was chosen in 1962.

Besides Snowden, Time had narrowed its finalists down to gay rights activist Edith Windsor, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Time editors made the selection. The magazine polled readers for their choice, and the winner was Egyptian General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who didn’t even make the top 10 of Time’s final list.

Catholic Men’s Conference

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Catholic Mens Conference

The annual Carolinas’ Catholic men’s conference focuses on the sacraments and features national Catholic speakers who pointedly challenge each participant to grow their Catholic Faith, deepen their relationship with Christ, and live up to their callings as Catholic men, husbands, & fathers. We seek to provide communications and forums throughout the year to reinforce the conference messages and aid men in continuing their spiritual journey…. Learn more

Memorial Day Service 5/26/2013

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

On Sunday, May 26th 2013 dozens gathered at Green Hill Cemetary to honor those Haywood County residents that have lost their lives in the previous year. The event was emceed by N. Chris Amsler EMCM(SW/AW) USN (RET) American Legion Post #47 Chaplain. Chuck Luce LtCol USA (RET) shared an inspirational message (text follows).

Tuscola High School Air Force ROTC Color Guard Prepares to present Colors At Sundays Memorial Ceremony at Green Hill Cemetery

(L-R) Russell Amsler Bell Ringer, Chuck Luce Key Note Speaker, N. Chris Amsler EMCM(SW/AW) USN (RET) American Legion Post #47 Chaplain Emcee,
Chuck Luce LtCol USA (RET) honoring those who past this year by reading their name and striking the bell.

Chuck Luce LtCol USA (RET) shares an inspirational message. CLICK image for text of speech.

Roy Pressley, American Legion Commander-Elect of Post # 47 and President of the Ladies Auxiliary Louise Cochrain Place the wreath.

Russell Amsler Bell Ringer, Chuck Luce LtCol USA (RET), N. Chris Amsler EMCM(SW/AW) USN (RET) American Legion Post #47 Chaplain Emcee honor the dead.


Waynesville, North Carolina, May 26, 2013
Charles M. Luce, LTC, US Army (Ret)

Memorial Day is set aside to remember those who have died serving our country. … members of the armed forces, police, firemen and women, first responders.

And so we remember ….. And I remember and I will not forget.

Standing by the cornfield at the Antitem battleground from the Civil War where 6000 men died in one day

Looking down on the Burnside’s bridge, that narrow stone bridge leading into the confederate lines… the bridge defended by Georgians under constant attack by the New York Regiment.

Or standing near Little Round Top at Gettysburg and looking at the site of Pickett’s charge up the hill toward Cemetery Ridge

Wondering if the graves of the Southern soldiers who died at Antitem and Gettysburg were among the graves first decorated with flowers by the their widows and mothers ….  marking the beginning of National Memorial Day of Remembrance. I remember and I will not forget.

Walking among the graves in Arlington National Cemetery seeing the final resting places of brave men who died in World War I. I remember and I will not forget.

Reading on the World War II monument in Canton, NC, the names of men from Haywood County who gave their lives during World War II… Frank Parton, Floyd Grasty, Robert Smathers, and Mack Stamey to name only a few. I remember and I will not forget.

Standing at the Korean Memorial in Washington DC looking up at those ghostly figures of infantrymen going up the sloping hill…. frozen forever in bronze.

Remembering my roommate for one year at West Point… Bruce Jeryl Hughes from High Point, NC. BJ left West Point after only 2 years, was drafted, sent to Korea and died there in 1953, just before the fighting stopped. I remember and I will not forget.

Standing, looking at that long black wall of granite on the Mall in Washington, DC, honoring those who died in the Vietnam War, I see the name of my classmate Don York, from Asheville, who died in 1962 while leading a column of South Vietnamese soldiers trying to rescue another group of South Vietnamese troops trapped by the Viet Cong.

And a little further along the wall is Jim Spruill’s name, another classmate from North Carolina who died in the stinking swamps of the Delta while advising the South Vietnamese in their battle against the Viet Cong in 1964…

And much further down the granite wall I find the name of another roommate at West Point, Rox Shain, an Air force fighter pilot who died over North Vietnam in 1968, shot down as he began his bombing run on a critical bridge near Hanoi..

And near the end of the wall I see the name of my classmate Andre Lucas from New York City…he died defending a lonely scarred hilltop known as Firebase Ripcord in the mountains of central Vietnam in 1970. He died on top of that hill and was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions to save his battalion from destruction at the hands of a much larger force of North Vietnamese. I remember and I will not forget.

Overlooking the site of the 9/11 attack in New York City just a few days following the attack… the smell of death and destruction heavy in the air .. thinking about the men and women, fire, police, Americans who died on that terrible day. I remember and I will not forget.

As I watch the names of those killed in Afghanistan, Iraq and other hot spots around the world scroll across the TV screen today, I remember and I will not forget.

And because you came out here today to honor those who are buried here and elsewhere, I know you also will remember and that you also will never forget.”

Charles M. Luce, LTC, US Army (Ret).