Fourth Degree



Fourth Degree


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.


Assembly Members


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

St. Clements Church                                      Cardinal Newman Council # 5324




                                                                   2021-2022 Officers


 FAITHFUL FRIAR:                                                                     FR. FRANCIS CHERUPARAMPIL

 FAITHFUL NAVIGATOR:                                                         ANTHONY A. VALENTINO, JR.

 FAITHFUL CAPTAIN:                                                                BRIAN F. DONAHUE

 FAITHFUL PILOT:                                                                      DANNY MEZZINA

 FAITHFUL COMPTROLLER:                                                   RICHARD F. KING

 FAITHFUL SCRIBE:                                                                   JASON R. DEEGAN

 FAITHFUL PURSER:                                                                  MICHAEL P. BARRY,SR.

 FAITHFUL INNER SENTINEL:                                               IAN NIOLA

 FAITHFUL OUTER SENTENEL:                                             SHAWN P. MCMILLIEN

 FAITHFUL ADMIRAL:                                                               JEFFREY D. REUTER

 ONE YEAR TRUSTEE:                                                                DEACON STEPHEN F. SCOTT

 TWO YEAR TRUSTEE:                                                                JOHN H. GAFFNEY

 THREE TRUSTEE:                                                                       WAYNE R. SZARO, SR.



St. Joseph Assembly # 679

Faithful Navigators


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 N. Bagnato

2012-2013:      William H. Horton, Jr.

2013-2014:       C. Anthony Cooper

2014-2015:       Robert A. Paolantonio

2015-2016:       John D. DiGregorio

2016-2017:       Deacon Stephen F. Scott

2017-2018:       John H. Gaffney

2018-2019:       Wayne R. Szaro

2019-2020:       Joseph J. LeRoy

2020-2021        Jeffrey R. Reuter

2021-2022:       Wayne R. Szaro, Sr.