EMBLEM OF THE PATRIOTIC DEGREE
The triad emblem of the Fourth Degree features the dove, the cross and the globe. The dove, classic symbol of the Holy Spirit and peace, is shown hovering over the orb of the Earth (globe). Both are mounted on a variation of the Crusader's cross, which was found on the tunics and capes of the Crusading knights who battled to regain the Holy Land from the pagans.
Spiritually, the sacred symbols on the emblem typify the union of the Three Divine Persons in one Godhead, the most Blessed Trinity.
The Globe – God the Father, Creator of the Universe.
The Cross – God the Son, Redeemer of Mankind.
The Dove – God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of Humanity.
The colors of the symbols are:
A blue globe with the land of the Western Hemisphere in white.
A red cross with gold borders and gold knobs at the end of the points forming the ends of the arms of the cross, also known as the Isabella cross.
A white dove.
Red, white and blue are the colors of the flag of the country in which the Knights originated. They are used to stress patriotism, the basic principle of the Fourth Degree.
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 led by Vice Supreme Master Richard Espinosa. JHRP Newsletters from 2022 (June, May, April, March, February, January), 2021 (November), 2020 (January, February, July, November), as well as a previous Knightly Valor (October 2018) issue are available.
History of the Fourth Degree
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 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 by 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 the 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.
John H. Reddin Province – Fourth Degree Masters for Utah
Also included are the terms served by the two Vice Supreme Masters (VSM) from Utah.
1909-1910 William P. O’Meara
1910-1912 Territorial Master Thomas J. O’Brien
1912-1915 Edward McGurrin
1915-1924 Charles A. McGuire
1924-1926 Richard J. Hogan (Idaho Attorney named Master of Utah and Southern Idaho)
1926-1930 Dr. John J. Galligan
1930-1935 Utah Fourth Degree joined Wyoming under Master J.S. Weppner of Wyoming
1935-1938 Supreme Master John H. Reddin divides Utah-Wyoming District. Judge Roger I. McDonough named Utah Master.
1938-1942 W. Frank Liston, PSD
1942-1960 Dr. C. O. Robinson, PSD
1960-1962 Ronald G. Swim
1962-1970 Frank Becker, PSD
1970-1973 James M. Shulsen, PSD
1973-1980 Royal V. Coburn, PSD
1980-1981 Edwin R. Schulfer, PSD
1981-1987 VSM Edwin R. Schulfer, PSD
1981-1984 Donald Doty, PSD
1984-1988 Robert E. Sorensen, PSD
1988-1990 Frank Scavo
1990-1994 J. Robert Lavery, PSD
1994-1998 Henry C. Carlson, PSD
1998-2000 Rholand E. Lange, PSD
2000-2004 Richard A. Kane, Jr., PSD
2004-2006 Joseph B. Ligori, PSD
2006-2008 Robert E. Smith
2008-2011 Chuck Dover, Jr., PSD
2011-2015 VSM Chuck Dover, Jr., PSD
2011-2012 James N. Leccia, PSD
2012-2016 William T. McCauley
2016-2018 V.J. Simonelli
2018-2020 Frank Carmona
2020-2022 Richard “Dick” Hall
2022- Present Robert Masse, JR