History of the Fourth Degree

The Patriotic Degree

On February 22, 1900, the first exemplification of the Fourth Degree was held in New York City.  To the three original principles of the Order: charity, unity and fraternity, the ritual added patriotism.  The focus of the Fourth Degree is on this principle - an abiding love for and devotion to one's country.  The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism by promoting responsible citizenship and a love of and loyalty to the Knights' respective countries through active membership in local Fourth Degree groups called assemblies.

Starting at the Supreme level there is the Supreme Master and the Supreme Board of Directors.  The next level of the structure is broken into provinces of which there are twenty.  Each province is led by a Vice-Supreme Master.  The province is then broken up into districts each of which contains a number of local Assemblies lead by a Navigator.  A Master is in charge of a District and usually has a District Marshal to assist him.

Certain members of the Fourth Degree serve as Color Guards and Honor Guards at civic and religious functions, an activity which has brought worldwide recognition to the Knights of Columbus organization.  Honor Guards have mastered the "Manual of the Sword".  The Master wears a Gold Cape and Chapeau while his District Marshal wears a green cape and chapeau.  The Navigator of an Assembly wears a White Cape and Chapeau while his Color Corps Commander wears a Purple Cape and Chapeau.  Finally, all other members of the Color Corps wear a Red Cape and White Chapeau.

As members of the Color Corps, we are the visible part of the Order.  When the public sees us in parades, they see the visible arm of "The Knights of Columbus".  When we attend wakes and/or funerals of our deceased brothers all see the visible "Knights of Columbus".  In the many parishes in which we serve, our fellow Catholics see "the Knights of Columbus".

Eligibility for Membership in the Fourth Degree

To be eligible to become a Fourth Degree member, you must be a Third Degree member in good standing, and you must be sponsored by a Sir Knight.  Exemplifications are usually held only once or twice a year in each district, normally between February and April in the Archdiocese of Washington District.

If you are interested in becoming a Fourth Degree Sir Knight, see your council representative or Grand Knight for a Form-4 Application and have a Sir Knight sponsor you and submit your Application to his Assembly.  Fourth Degree members must retain their membership as Third Degree members in the local council to remain in good standing. Come Grow with Us! There is a place for you among the over 1.8 million Knights of Columbus family members who already "Celebrate Faith, Family and Fraternity" as a member in our order.  Make your family a part of ours, join today!

District Prayer Intentions

  • For the return to health and speedy recovery of SK Anthony I Colbert, PSD, FDD, PGK, PFN, FS
  • For the return to health and speedy recovery of SK Carl Roberts, FM
  • For the return to health of Deacon Rich Fisher
  • For the return to health and cure of cancer for Wise Tennyson
  • For the return to health and cure of cancer for Yoshitaka Takeuchi
  • For the return to health of Marvin Schuttoffel
  • For the return to health of Barbara Chayka
  • For the private intentions of Marcia Lapham
  • For the private intentions of Matt Santangelo
  • For the return to health and speedy recovery of Eileen Santangelo
  • For the return to health and speedy recovery of Chris Voegel
  • For the return to health and speedy recovery of Greg Curtain, PGK
  • For the return to health and speedy recovery of SK James Huse
  • For the return to health and speedy recovery of Bill Sheehan, PGK
  • For the return to health and speedy recovery of Beverly Woods
  • For the return to health and speedy recovery of Geraldine Barbara Hickley Massimini Brandon
  • For the return to health and speedy recovery Maurice Bear
  • For the return to health of Rev. Robert Pittman
  • For the return to health of SK Stephen Holowenzak
  • For the return to health and speedy recovery of SK Larry Smialek
  • For peace of spirit and ease of pain to Judge William Missouri who has entered into hospice care
  • For the repose of the soul of SK Cesar B. Martinez, FM, FDD, PGK, PFN - Former Master of the Archdiocese of Washington District
  • Fort he repose of the soul of Phil Asplen, PSD, FDD, FM, PGK, PFN - Past State Deputy of Maryland
  • For the repose of the soul of SK Roger Doucette
  • For the repose of the soul of SK Archie Q. Evans
  • For the repose of the soul of SK John H Bond, Jr
  • For the repose of the soul of Fr. John Mattingly
  • For the repose of the soul of Roy Demese
  • For the repose of the soul of Walter Chimiak, father of Msgr. Karl Chimiak
  • For the repose of the soul of Detective Sean Suiter and for the consolation of his family.
  • For the repose of the soul of Mrs. Geraldine Brandon, mother of District Secretary Joe Massimini
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