When Father Paul Schmidt, SVD, told his fellow Sir Knights of Monsignor Flanagan Assembly 0059, Riverside, that it had been almost 10 years without a U.S. flag flying over the nearby Divine Word Seminary Retreat Center, they were determined to correct this situation as a part of their patriotic duty.
Fr. Schmidt has been the Faithful Friar of this Knights of Columbus organization since he became a Fourth Degree Sir Knight in 2006. The Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus is the Patriotic Degree, so it “felt right to see if the Assembly would support this project,” said Fr. Schmidt.
When members of the assembly went out to the Divine Word facility on Cypress Avenue, it was determined that the whole flagpole would have to be replaced due to its deteriorated condition. Costs to replace this flagpole were obtained from several sources after the old flagpole was cut down to obtain exact measurements for a replacement. Since the Assembly had funds in a special Flag Fund, and a local source - Jon’s Flags and Poles was selected, a new flagpole, complete with a solar light was installed in early April. Then on April 19, Fr. Schmidt, with the help of Color Corps Commander Robert Hopkins and several other members of the Assembly, raised the American flag up the newly installed flagpole for the first time.
Earlier in February, members of the same assembly spread almost 12 cubic yards of red mulch around the seminary chapel and a large rose garden. This mulching project was a special project in that the late Religious Brother Bernard B. Dorade (a member of Monsignor Flanagan Assembly 0059) had over a number of years created a rose garden on the retreat center grounds, and the assembly wanted to help preserve his work and labor of love. With Phase I of this project now complete, the Knights are looking forward to Phase II, in which they will spread another ten cubic yards of mulch around the four large reflecting ponds on either side of the flagpole they just erected, leading up to the entrance to the chapel.