Fourth Degree Knights
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. Fourth Degree members must retain their membership as Third Degree members in the local council to remain in good standing.
The Color Corps is an elective division of the Fourth Degree, whose distinctive presence in parades, wreath-laying ceremonies, Confirmations and other Catholic functions is a visible reminder of our service to the community. The ceremonial sword symbolizes Christian Knighthood, and is carried to signify reverence to Church, Eucharist, country and freedom. The Color Corps uniform is ordered through the website KofCuniform.com. Swords are sold separately from The English Company.
Memo on new uniform (effective 01-JUL-2019). Memo from Uniform Supplier (The Supply Room) February 2020.
The Fourth Degree ritual added patriotism to the three original principles of the Order: charity, unity and fraternity. Any Third Degree member in good standing, with at least six months membership in the order, 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 a love of and loyalty to the Knights’ respective countries through active membership in local Fourth Degree groups called assemblies. Fourth Degree members must retain their membership as Third Degree members in the local council to remain in good standing.
Vice Supreme Master (John H. Reddin Province)
Covering the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, the John H. Reddin Province is lead by Vice Supreme Master Richard Espinosa. JHRP Newletters from 2020 (January, February, July, November), as well as a previous Knightly Valor (October 2018) issue are available.
History of the Fourth Degree
On February 22, 1900, the first Fourth Degree exemplification or degree ceremony was held in New York City. The Fourth Degree imparts a lesson on the virtue of patriotism. The primary purpose of this degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism in members and the community at large and to encourage active Catholic citizenship.
Local units, called assemblies, draw their members from Knights of Columbus councils. The qualification for membership in the Fourth Degree is simply membership in the Knights of Columbus as a Third Degree Knight.
Fourth Degree Knights may become part of the assembly’s color corps. These members are recognized widely by their distinctive uniform (slacks, blazer and beret), which on July 1, 2019 replaced the previous attire of tuxedo, feathered hat (chapeau), cape and sword. These members regularly take part in civic events and at ecclesial functions at Catholic churches. The various colored patches on the berets denote different officer positions within the Fourth Degree.
Every citizen of every nation must engage himself daily in efforts to create a better understanding and appreciation of his country’s history and ideals. That is the meaning of citizenship; the living out of the virtue of patriotism.
Fourth Degree Knights commit themselves to this every day. They are in the vanguard of our Order in their dedication to preserving and perpetuating the freedoms we all cherish.
Our goal must be to grow the Fourth Degree by adding more members during this fraternal year; more importantly, we must awaken in more Third Degree Knights the desire to become a Sir Knight. Currently, only 17 percent of our membership has become Fourth Degree Knights.
One way we will achieve those goals is putting greater emphasis on the patriotic service programs that are unique to the Fourth Degree. We will continue to sharpen the public image of Sir Knights by participating in the color corps and honor guards at events.
A significant contribution to this effort is the new Knights of Columbus United States Flag Manual, prepared by Supreme Master Joe Schultz, which is now the definitive guide for Fourth Degree Color Corps in the U.S. This should become the source of flag protocol for all U.S. councils as well.
There are 26 million veterans in America, and hundreds of thousands of men and women currently serving in the military. Meeting the needs of such a large population has required the VA to set up more than 1,000 facilities throughout the United States, ranging from full-service hospitals to nursing homes and home-care programs.
Fourth Degree Knights have made a tremendous commitment to Veterans Affairs hospitals in recent years. Currently, there are Sir Knights volunteering in approximately 90 percent of U.S. Veterans Affairs hospitals, and last year Knights volunteered more than 104,000 hours at those hospitals. The national leadership of the Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service program has recognized the Knights for this commitment, and on behalf of the Supreme Council we thank all the Sir Knights who are “serving those who served” so admirably and faithfully. This is an ideal service program for every Fourth Degree assembly, and if you’re not already involved, I strongly suggest that you add it to your list for the coming year.
Through their leadership, sacrifice and dedication, Fourth Degree knights have earned their place atop the Order. Fourth Degree Knights are Knights of the highest degree and are held in the highest regard, in the same way they hold themselves, their fellow brothers, and the Order.
A Fourth Degree Knight is a member of a group of men dedicated to promoting patriotism, illuminated by their Catholic faith. It is an honor to wear the regalia and participate in color corps and honor guards. It is a position of prestige and something for which all Knights should strive. Ideally, every Third Degree Knight should become a Fourth degree Knight.
Click on the assembly for more info and to contact them.
Father Francisco Atanasio DominguezLocation: Western Salt Lake Valley
Serving Councils: 5214, 7961, 8350, 10304
Faithful Navigator: SK Bob E Masse Jr, PSD
Faithful Comptroller: SK Stephen M Gerichs
Father EscalanteLocation: Utah Valley
Serving Councils: 1136, 8606, 9561
Faithful Navigator: SK John Chavez
Faithful Comptroller: SK Ray Folks, FDD
Rt. Rev. Msgr. Patrick M. CushnahanLocation: Greater Ogden Area
Serving Councils: 777, 5347, 6010, 9849, 12959, 14399, 16127
Faithful Navigator: SK Andrew T Beck
Faithful Comptroller: SK Douglas Johndrow
CarbonLocation: Eastern Utah
Serving Councils: 2611, 6147, 7401
Faithful Navigator: SK Eugene (Gene) P Vea, FDD
Faithful Comptroller: SK Joseph A. Colosimo
Bishop ScanlanLocation: St. George
Serving Councils: 10733
Faithful Navigator: SK George D'Apuzzo
Faithful Comptroller: SK David J. Arndt
Reverend Thomas J. MeersmanLocation: Sandy
Serving Councils: 6966, 11479, 12181, 13297, 13646, 14239
Faithful Navigator: SK James G Vandiver
Faithful Comptroller: SK Todd B Holzhauser
Padre PioLocation: Park City, East Salt Lake
Serving Councils: 1129, 14764, 15418
Faithful Navigator: SK Stacey A Yeager
Faithful Comptroller: SK Richard (Dick) F Hall
Saint John Paul IILocation: Cedar City
Serving Councils: 11246
Faithful Navigator: SK Lawrence A Delgado
Faithful Comptroller: SK Michael A. Villarreal
Rev. Msgr. Robert C. PollockLocation: Bountiful and Northern Salt Lake Area
Serving Councils: 602, 5502, 12264, 15741, 16006
Faithful Navigator: SK Joseph R. Bouley
Faithful Comptroller: SK Joseph A Nesi
All information found on this page is also located in the Exemplification Information document
For more information on Exemplification contact District Master Richard F. “Dick” Hall.
1. GENERAL INFORMATION:
- An Exemplification of the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus is the formal initiation into the degree.
- Exemplifications are typically held only a few times each year; therefore it is important to plan ahead for the degree.
- Every Exemplification is held in honor of a Worthy Sir Knight. The Honoree is named at the banquet and the newly initiated members are presented to him.
- A package with the details of dinner choices and hotel accommodations are sent out in advance in ample time to book before the deadline.
- In order for a candidate to be listed in the Exemplification booklet and have a certificate prepared for them in advance, their name must be given to the Master no less than 14 days before the date of the degree.
- Last minute candidates can receive the degree, but they will not be listed in the banquet program; they will not have a certificate prepared for them; and they risk not being seated at the banquet if the event is being catered. Their fee will remain the same. The Exemplification fee will not be discounted for any reason.
- DEADLINE FOR CANDIDATES NAMES IS 14 DAYS BEFORE THE DATE OF THE DEGREE
- Please help avoid confusion by meeting the deadlines.
2. EXEMPLIFICATION OF THE FOURTH DEGREE:
- Section 39. Dress for Exemplification.
(a) For a candidate: black or dark (blue or grey) business suit with black shoes, plain white dress shirt (button cuff (no French cuffs), no button down collar shirts), necktie, and candidate identification.
(b) For a candidate serving in the armed forces of his country, full-time police and firefighters: a Class A or dress uniform.
- Candidates may not wear Knights of Columbus jewels or name badges.
- Jewels of office may be worn by active officers only.
- Members of the Armed Forces, policemen and firefighters may wear their full dress uniform.
- Priests may wear clerical garb with Collar.
3. RECRUITMENT AND WAIVERS:
- All Faithful Navigators are encouraged to visit councils and start recruiting as many Third Degree Knights as possible. All Grand Knights are encouraged to inform their membership and recruit new members.
- There is no longer a 6 or 12 month waiting period before joining the Fourth Degree, so waivers aren’t necessary.
4. CANDIDATE’S APPLICATION (FORM 4):
- All Form 4’s are to be filled out properly. ALL ITEMS SHOWN BELOW ARE REQUIRED! (Rank or Title is only for Priests or Military) TYPE or PRINT LEGIBLY IN CAPITAL LETTERS all required information.
- All required signature blocks must be completed prior to forwarding the Form 4’s with the Supreme Secretary and Master’s COPIES ATTACHED. Assemblies are to keep their copy and are to return the Financial Secretary copy to the council.
- INCOMPLETE FORMS WILL BE RETURNED FOR CORRECTION.
- Candidate Fees are $70, which includes ONE DINNER TICKET FOR THE CANDIDATE, a social baldric, and a Fourth Degree lapel pin. The home Assembly will handle fees for Priest candidates including the above.
- Please use the dinner reservation form that will be provided for any additional meal tickets.
- Assemblies are to take care of their respective Priest covering all fees and accommodations.
- A Mass will precede the banquet and all priests are welcome to concelebrate the Mass. Please encourage your Priests to bring their vestments.
- PLEASE NOTE: Send properly completed Form 4’s with candidate fees with checks made payable to Master 4th Degree, as shown on the Registration Form. All checks must be sent so as to arrive no later than the cutoff date.
- REMEMBER THE CUTOFF DATE IS TEN DAYS PRIOR TO THE DEGREE DATE
- The host Assembly will confirm with the pastor as to his wishes on the use of swords by the Honor Guard at the procession, the consecration and the recession. The Honor Guard will accompany the main celebrant and all concelebrating Priests in the procession and recession. The use of swords is allowed in this Diocese.
5. EXEMPLIFICATION BANQUET:
- All Sir Knights, especially the new Sir Knights, should attend the banquet with their ladies and guests to celebrate the Exemplification of the Fourth Degree.
- Dress code for the banquet will be the same as for the exemplification. Also acceptable is formal wear: black tuxedo (no long tails), with white tuxedo shirt, with standard black bowtie, black cummerbund, and black shoes.
- All current dress code directives for Sir Knights apply.
- Members of the Armed Forces, police officers and firefighters may wear their full dress uniforms. Ladies should wear evening dresses suitable for the occasion.
- Guest gentlemen are requested to wear coat and tie.
- Candidate fees include one banquet ticket. Additional tickets for their lady and ANY guests must be noted on the DINNER RESERVATION form and be accompanied with payment in full by the deadline date.
6. Tuxedo information:
The tuxedo is no longer the uniform dress of the fourth degree and is no longer required.
Color Corps Drill Manual and Laws
Information about the Color Corps of the Patriotic Degree is available here.
Drill Manuals (Item 808):
- The current (Sept. 2020) Color Corps Drill Manual is online here.
- The previous (Jan. 2018) Color Corps Drill Manual is available here.
The Laws and Rules Governing the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus (WITH AMENDMENTS TO AND INCLUDING THE YEAR 2017) is available here.