Fourth Degree

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

.....By Joining the Fourth Degree                      Star Assembly Form        Supreme 4th degree Forms

                                                                             Form 4 Instructions        Civic Award



January 2020 

Brother Knights,

It is with great pleasure that we announce Assembly 3551, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Zionsville is the recipient of the Star Assembly Award. This is the most prestigious award an assembly could receive and is based on excellence in member recruitment and outstanding patriotic programs. In fact, Assembly 3551 won this award last year and is the only assembly in the state to receive this award. Assembly 3551 also received the Civic award this year.

While Assembly 3551 has received this award at least two years in a row I know there are other assemblies in Indiana that are doing great things, but we and Supreme, don’t know about them. There’s no reason all 49 assemblies in the state can’t receive these awards.  Information on both the awards can be found at

Our next exemplification will be held in Newburgh, IN on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at Saint John the Baptist Church, hosted by Reverend Monsignor A. J. Sprigler Assembly #0253.  In honor of the 120th Anniversary of the founding of the Patriotic Degree a unique certificate will be issued to members receiving their 4th degree at this exemplification. Information regarding the exemplification is available through the Next Exemplification link at the top of this page.

There will be an exemplification on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at Saint Francis of Assisi Church in Muncie on the Ball State campus, hosted by Bishop William Arnold Assembly #0243. The ladies event will be a visit to the David Owsley Museum of Art.

On Saturday, August 29, 2020 in Lafayette the exemplification will be hosted by General de Lafayette Assembly #0249. Details are being finalized. We have recognized the U S Army, U S Marine Corps, U S Navy, and the U S Air Force in the past, and we will recognize the U S Coast Guard at this exemplification.

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.


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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