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GALA DAY FOR CRESCO
Establishment of Cresco Council
K. of C., Decoration Day.
Through the untiring efforts of the Rev. J. C. Wagener of St. Joseph’s church and the local Knights of Columbus, Cresco Council No. 1571 has become a realization.
On Monday, delegates and officers of the various councils of the state began to pour in and on Tuesday fifty-three applicants took the degrees of the order.
At 8:30, the first degree was conferred at the Armory by the Austin degree team, after which all marched to St. Joseph’s church in a body to attend solemn high mass, the Very Rev. John Garland being celebrant, assisted by Father Louis Gmeinder of Spring Valley, Minn., and Father Maurice Nolan, of Calmar, Iowa, as deacon and subdeacon respectively, and the Rev. J. P. Wagener as master of ceremonies.
The Rev. Michael Eardley, of Sabula, Iowa, delivered the sermon. The reverened speaker spoke feelingly of the evidences of Catholicity in Cresco. He declared the flourishing conditions of both Cresco parishes speak louder than words of the zeal and labor of their present and former pastors and the responsiveness of the people. Touching on the great honor it was to be a knight in the Middle Ages when the sacred places were to be wrested from the hands of the infidels, he said that an honor not less marked came to those who today pledge fidelity to church and faithful performance of their sacred duties, and that chivalry and knighthood today, in the twentieth century, consisted not in armory of steel and helmet, but in character and Christian manhood, and that “honor and glory from no condition rise,” closing with an earnest appeal to those present to always remember their pledges and promises of the day. The church was beautifully decorated for the occasion.
After mass, the visiting and local clergy partook of a sumptuous dinner at St. Joseph's parsonage.
The afternoon work began at one o’clock at the Armory for final degrees, the third and last degree being conferred by Dubuque degree team, headed by District Deputy Hugh Stuart, assisted by Leo Mulgrew. Over 300 visiting and local enthusiastic Knights were present to witness the impressive ceremonies of the day, the same concluding at 7:30 p. in., after which all repaired to Nichols’ hall to partake of the grand banquet served by the ladies of the Assumption parish.
The banquet room was elaborately decorated with the national colors, ferns and roses hping tastefully arranged on every table. The ladies having charge waited on the tables and the extreme care and attention given every visitor merited the many words of praise from the speakers and all present.
The toast program that followed was quite in keeping with the lessons of the day. Hon. D. A. Lyons acted as toast master and proved himself master of the situation with sallies of wit and playful humor as he introduced each speaker.
D. H. Fitzpatrick, of Mason City, was first called, whose toast was “Citizenship.” Good, clean living with a high sense of religious responsibility and civic righteousness, the speaker declared, was “citizenship.”
Rev. M. F. Eardley, of Sabula, responded to “Present Observations.” Taking a humorous vein for which he is generally known, he threw his audience into fine humor with some pointed stories that applied to the momentary situation Taking up a more serious phase, he said the Knights had a purpose to serve. An undertaking without a fixed purpose to benefit others and mankind in general deserves failure. A good purpose always survives. The perfidy of men and the viciousness of the time may defeat its workings for awhile, but live it must.
Joseph Kirby, of Sioux Kails, stood sponsor for “This Order." In depicting the work and its usefulness, he related eloquently his own experience when younger in battling against estranging influences. The young men of other beliefs, he said, all had their societies and places of assembly for social enjoyment. Today the Catholic young man may feel secure of Catholic influence and Catholic aid wherever he goes, and no better agency is offered him than this order.
The Hon. D. I. Murphy, of Elkader, spoke on the “Modern Knight.” Mr. Murphy was at his best and held his audience from the start. It’s the Knight of today doing the work of today we need, he declared. He showed that the work of today is to supplement the work of the pastor. When it is a question of building church, school or making improvements, there is the work of the modern Knight.
The speaking program concluded with some timely remarks by Rev. Dean Garland.
During the banquet the orchestra furnished some splendid selections, and as a fitting close to the evening’s enjoyment were two vocal solos by Leo O’Brien, of Independence. This marked the close of one of the most eventful days in the history of Cresco.
following is the list of candidates:
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The Knights of Columbus Newspaper article was extracted from Library of Congress Micro-Film using:
Chronicling America, transcribed and prepared for the Web by Bill Waters. This Report was
published in the Twice-A-Week Plain Dealer June 2, 1911, FP, C3, 4