Fourth Degree

Be All That You Can Be.....                                NEXT EXEMPLIFICATION

.....By Joining the Fourth Degree                           Star Assembly Requirements

                                                                                       Form 4 Instructions



April 2019

Brother Knights,

The most recent veneration of the incorrupt heart of Saint Jean Vianney, the patron saint of priests, was held on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at St. Paul Church in Tell City, IN from 3:00 PM to 7:30 PM. 20 Sir Knights stood guard and over 500 faithful came to view and pray before the relic. Many thanks to SK Gene Hurm for coordinating the event. With the other two venerations in Indiana more than 4,000 faithful viewed the relic.

The next exemplification will be Saturday, June 15, 2019 at SS. Francis & Clare of Assisi Catholic Church in Greenwood. The registration form and registration letters with full information on the exemplification are posted on the State website at the link above. The ladies social will be a presentation by Dr. Chuck Dietzen on the Shroud of Turin. This presentation has been given at Marian University and other locations and features a life size replica of the Shroud of Turin.

While we recognize all veterans at all exemplifications the U.S. Army veterans will be spotlighted on June 15.

We continue to look for an assembly to host an exemplification in September or October. Please contact me if your assembly or council would like to host an exemplification then or in 2020.   

Please remember it’s not too soon to start thinking of submissions for the Civic Award and the To Be A Patriot Award. Please note the application form for the To Be A Patriot award, TBP-2, must be completed, printed out and MAILED to me by April 30, 2019. No submission postmarked after April 30, 2019 will be accepted, nor will faxed or emailed submissions be accepted. Information about both awards are available at

Faithful Navigators-Be on the lookout in the near future for information regarding an initiative that will provide ways for assemblies to conduct Color Corps activities at all councils in their assembly. This will make the Patriotic Degree more visible to members of all Catholic parishes and will increase service to our Church.

WAYS TO SERVE: (Scroll down to get links to 4th degree materials.)

Please remember that, as Knights of Columbus, we stand for the flag, and kneel for the Cross.


Rick Santangelo

Master, Indiana District

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     "Our principles are just words if we do not live them out." Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight


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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.


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