Any Third Degree member in good standing, is eligible for membership in the Fourth Degree. The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism by promoting responsible citizenship and love of loyalty to the Knights respective countries through active membership in local Fourth Degree groups (called "Assemblies"). Certain members of the Fourth Degree serve as honor guards at civic and religious functions, an activity that has brought worldwide recognition.
The Fourth Degree meets on the 1st Wednesday of the month at our council building at 8:00 p.m.
Emblem of the Patriotic Degree
The triad emblem of the Fourth Degree features the dove, the cross and the globe. The dove, classic symbol of the Holy Spirit and Peace, is shown hovering over the orb of the Earth (globe). Both are mounted on a variation of the Crusader's Cross, which was found on the tunics and capes of the Crusading Knights who battled to regain the Holy Land from the pagans.
Spiritually, the sacred symbols on the emblem typify the union of the Three Divine Person in one Godhead, the most Blessed Trinity.
The Globe - God the Father, Creator of the Universe.
- The Cross - God the Son, Redeemer of Mankind
- The Dove - God the Holy Spirit, Sancitifier of Humanity.
The colors of the symbols are:
A blue globe with the land of the Western Hemisphere in white.
- A red cross with gold borders and gold knobs at the end of the points forming the ends of the arms of the cross, also known as Isabella Cross.
- A white dove.
Red, white and blue are the colors of the flag of our country in which the Knights originated. They are used to stress patriotism, the basic principle of the Fourth Degree.
History of the Fourth Degree
The idea of adding new degrees to the Order's original three, (Charity, Unity, Fraternity) first came to light in 1886. Supreme Knight James T. Mullen appointed a committee to look into forming two new "commander" degrees. The same year the Connecticut Catholic , a local newspaper, carried and advertisement calling members of local Knights of Columbus councils to meet to form a "Uniformed Legion." The idea for this new unit arose from a growing of nation wide sense of Nationalism, or what we would call today Patriotism. The unknown author in Connecticut was not alone in wanting a visible organization.
Little happened at this time because there was not enough wide spread interest in creating additional degrees. The Order's leaders balked at the idea of a Uniformed Legion for the simple reason that the cost for the "Uniform" was well over $100.00. They feared the "Legion" would cause an economical class split between wealthy and poorer members of the Order.
Following the Spanish American War, it was decided that there should be one new Degree added based on the principle of Patriotism. In 1899, Edward L. Hearn was elected Supreme Knight and he immediately appointed a committee to estabish and format the new Degree to be given the following year.
In order to qualify for this Degree each Candidate had to be a Third Degree member of the Knights of Columbus in good standing for three years, and show evidence of distinctive service to the Order, church and community. Finally the candidate had to have a letter from the priest stipulating that he had received communion within the past two weeks.
The first Exemplification of the new Degree was scheduled to be held in the Astor Hotel in New York City on February 22, 1900. However, there were so many candidates, the Exemplification had to be moved to a larger venue. Therefore the site was moved to the Lenox Lyceum. At this first Exemplification of the Fourth Degree 1,100 members of the Knights of Columbus, being in good standing "took their forth." The second Exemplification, held in Boston on May 8, 1900 saw another 750 Third Degree Knights join the ranks of Sir Knight.
In the early years of the Fourth Degree, members met as part of their councils, mostly after meetings. In 1910, during a reorganization of the Order's leadership, the first Assemblies were created. Additionally the position of Supreme Master was established to lead the Fourth Degree internationally. Vice Supreme Masters lead Provinces and Masters head Districts. This system has spread and flourished as Sir Knights not only serve their local Church through their service to local councils but also their joint efforts in these Assemblies.
The Honor Guard, first called for in 1886 was officially formed in 1902, for ceremonial purposes. Since that time, the uniforms of the Color Corps have varied, however all have shared the similar theme of mariners. Most noticeable in today's current uniform is the chapeau worn with ostrich feathers.
In the year 2000, the Fourth Degree celebrated its 100th Anniversary with approximately 252,000 member Sir Knights.
St. Joseph Church: St. Joseph Council - # 3402
Holy Family Church: St. Joseph Council - # 3402
St. Benedicts Church: St. Benedict Council - # 11349
William the Abbott Church: William the Abbott - # 10005
Jesus the Lord Church Jesus the Lord Council - # 12232
St. Catherina of Siena Church St. Catherina of Siena - # 15703
FAITHFUL FRIAR: FR. FRANCIS CHERUPARAMPIL
FAITHFUL NAVIGATOR: DEACON STEPHEN SCOTT
FAITHFUL CAPTAIN: JOHN GAFFNEY
FAITHFUL PILOT: AUGUSTINE CARUSO
FAITHFUL COMPTROLLER: RICHARD F. KING
FAITHFUL SCRIBE: GUIDO A. SCRIVANICH, JR.
FAITHFUL PURSER: PATRICK J. BARTOLOMEO
FAITHFUL INNER SENTINEL: ALLEN LEHAHAN
FAITHFUL OUTER SENTENEL: CHARLES HOWARD
FAITHFUL ADMIRAL: JOHN DIGREGORIO
ONE YEAR TRUSTEE: WILLIAM HORTON, JR.
TWO YEAR TRUSTEE: ANTHONY COOPER
THREE TRUSTEE: ROBERT PAOLANTONIO
St. Joseph Assembly # 679
1952-1954: John J. Dane
1955-1956: E. Dalton Graham
1957-1958: George L. Demery
1958-1959: Michael N. Nappi
1959-1960: Charles M. Dietrick
1960-1961: Stephen J. Kalieta
1961-1962: Frank W. Letwenske
1962-1963: Alphonso J. Rapolla
1963-1964: John C. Day
1964-1965: Edward F. Murphy
1965-1966: Henry V. Demery
1966-1967: John J. Shannon
1967-1968: Vincent J. Infosino
1968-1969: William H. Cullen, Jr.
1969-1970: Stanley A. Walczak
1970-1971: Carl Stabile
1971-1972: Joseph Carroll
1972-1973: Lawrence R. Yates
1973-1974: Sid Christianson
1974-1975: James S. Wines
1975-1976: Robert Famularo
1976-1977: Raymond F. Kilroy
1977-1978: Henderick C. Rossi
1978-1979: St. Clair Parris
1979-1980: Richard Healey
1980-1981: Joseph S. Rossi, Jr.
1981-1982: Robert Morgan
1982-1983: Jerry E. Chierchio
1983-1984: Eugene B. Vavrich
1984-1985: John Brennan
1985-1986: Thomas J. O'Reilly
1986-1987: Francis O. Rahm, Sr.
1987-1988: James T. O'Brien
1988-1989: Edward Szynomski
1989-1990: Francis C. Rahm
1990-1991: Norman F. S. Hughes
1991-1992: Fredrick Koehler
1992-1993: John C. Rachunok
1993-1994: John E. Sweeney
1994-1995: Vincent A. Canzoneri
1995-1996: Richard F. King
1996-1997: John P. Polewczak
1997-1998: Carl J. Unsinn
1998-1999: Edward A. Nowaczyk
1999-2000: Peter F. Cassidy
2000-2001: Joseph DeCreane
2001-2002: John J. Hrabosky
2002-2003: Donald L. Larson
2003-2004: Angelo E. Galliccho
2004-2005: Richard F. Kelleher
2005-2006: Henry Vitale
2006-2007: James E. Raleigh
2007-2008: John B. Lietz
2008-2009: Patrick J. Bartolomeo
2009-2010: Francis X. Reck
2010-2011: Donald J. Kehoe
2011-2012: Carmelo Bagnato
2012-2013: William H. Horton, Jr.
2013-2014 C. Anthony Cooper
2014-2015 Robert A. Paolantonio
2015-2016 John DiGregorio
2016-2017 Deacon Stephen Scott