On February 22, 1900, the first exemplification of the Fourth Degree was held in the New York City. To the three principles of our Order: Charity, Unity and Fraternity, the final lesson that was added is the virtue of 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 membership in local Fourth Degree groups called Assemblies.
Certain members of the Fourth Degree serve as Color Guards and Honor Guards at civic and religious functions, an honorable activity which has brought worldwide recognition to the Knights of Columbus and local Assembly organizations. 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 as a member in the Fourth Degree, you must be a Third Degree member in good standing in the Knights of Columbus. In addition, you must also be a K of C member for six months and sponsored by a Brother Sir Knight. Exemplifications of the Fourth Degree are held at one place for both Nassau and Suffolk Counties Assemblies combined only once a year the Sunday before Columbus Day in October.
If you are interested in becoming a Fourth Degree Sir Knight in Cardinal Mercier Assembly #705, contact our Council Brothers: SK Gene Peluso, Chairman of the Fourth Degree at 516.404.0616 or Past Faithful Navigator Vincent S. Brooks of Cardinal Mercier Assembly #705. You may also see our Grand Knight for a Form 4 Application and have a Sir Knight sponsor you and submit your Application to the Fourth Degree Chairman. Fourth Degree members must retain their membership as Third Degree members in any Knights of Columbus Council to remain in good standing.
According to the Supreme Knight’s Annual Report, there are more than 300,000 Fourth Degree Sir Knights out of the total 1.8 million member Knights of Columbus. There is a place for you among Brother Sir Knights who already celebrate "Faith, Family and Fraternity" as a member in our order. Make yourself and your family a part of ours, take the first step, inquire, pick up an application and join today!