As we begin a new fraternal year let us remember that the Fourth Degree, the Patriotic Degree, exists to foster the spirit of patriotism, enlightened by our Catholic Faith. It is a rewarding way to show your love of God and Country.
The next exemplification of the Fourth Degree is scheduled for Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 1:00 PM at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 10700 Aboite Center Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46804. The exemplification is being hosted by Anthony Wayne Assembly #0239. The lady’s activity will be a visit to the Foellnger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory. The registration form and letter are posted soon on the state website and will be sent to all assemblies and councils.
Please remember that Form 186, Report of Officers Chosen was due July 1, and only 11 of the 49 assemblies have submitted that report. That form is critical to send information to newly elected and returning Faithful Navigators and Faithful Comptrollers. If you have not yet submitted that form, please do so as soon as possible.
Don’t forget that the Annual Assembly Audit Report #1315 was due August 1.
Your Assembly can earn the Star Assembly Award by completing the following:
- Earn the Fourth Degree Civic Award
- Enter the “To Be A Patriot" competition
- Meet the assembly new member goal of 7%
- Submit the Report of Officers— #186 (due July 1)
- Submit the Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity— #1728 (due January?31)
- Submit the Annual Assembly Audit Report— #1315 (due August 1)
- Publish a monthly newsletter or bulletin for assembly members
We will be forwarding an initiative to all assemblies to have an active Fourth Degree at every council. Please review the initiative and implement it. This will help grow our degree and presence in the community.
All Faithful Navigators should have the Fourth Degree Program Manual #1953, which can be ordered through Supplies Online under Administrative Forms & Supplies. It is packed with 38 pages of patriotic programs, materials and member certificates available to you. Some of the programs include the Nonpartisan National Get Out the Vote Program, Chalice Program, Organize a Parade, Flag Day Program, Street of Flags, and Veterans’ Assistance. Promote the programs that work best for your community.
Midnight June 30 was the official retirement of the cape and chapeau.
One does not have to wear a uniform to be a patriot and serve his community. We wear our patriotism in our hearts, and with our action. It’s not what we wear, but what we do for others.
If your Assembly or Council would like to host an exemplification, please feel free to contact me at the email below or call me at 317-862-4137.
Stand for the flag and kneel for the Cross.
Master, Indiana District
"Our principles are just words if we do not live them out." Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight
The Fourth Degree, also known as the Patriotic Degree, is the highest degree of the Knights of Columbus, and it exists to foster the spirit of patriotism, enlightened by our Catholic Faith. It is a rewarding way to combine our Catholic heritage with our love of our country.
The Fourth Degree is patriotism in action, i.e. Honor guards at Mass for confirmations, funerals, and memorial services, in addition to Color Corps representation at federal, state and local ceremonies, such as parades and wreath-laying ceremonies. The Fourth Degree is a visible reminder of our service to the community.
History of the Fourth Degree
In 1886, four years after our Order was established, Supreme Knight James T. Mullen proposed the patriotic degree and the Supreme Board of Directors approved the formation of the Fourth Degree in 1899. Along with the addition of “patriotism” to the Knights’ principles in 1900 came the first exemplification of the Fourth Degree which was held on February 22, 1900 in New York City with a class of 1,100 Knights.
The Fourth Degree is currently organized into 21 geographical units known as provinces. Our province consists of the states of Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia, and is referred to as the Father Edward F. Sorin, C.S.C. Province. The executive officer of the Fourth Degree is the Supreme Master.
The executive officer of the province is the Vice Supreme Master. A province is further divided into districts, which normally (with few exceptions) coincide with state boundaries. Each district is presided over by an executive officer, the Master. Currently, there are 122 districts.
The Fourth Degree is the Patriotic Degree of the Knights of Columbus, and it comprises over 17% of the membership of the Order. The distinctive regalia of Sir Knights make them the most visible arm of the Order to the public.
Purpose of the Fourth Degree
- To promote and strengthen the patriotic spirit of the civic community
- To educate its members, and others, both in the teachings of Holy Mother Church, and the history of our nation
- To promote by example the highest type of citizenship so necessary for the preservation and perpetuation of Republican form of government and its democratic institutions
- To oppose dissemination and spread of doctrine dangerous to our form of government, and to the Divine law of faith and morality
- To support by word and deed, the duly constituted authorities of local, state, and national government, and to recognize excellence in public life
The Fourth Degree, both collectively and individually, supports those religious, civic, and charitable causes which are designed to implement one or more of these five objectives.