The Knights of Columbus

Fraternal organization for Catholic men Fourth Degree

What is the Fourth Degree?

Each ‘degree’ of the Knights of Columbus is associated with a particular virtue, the fourth being “Patriotism”. Consequently, the 4th Degree is often known as ‘The Patriotic Degree’.

It was established in New York on 22 February, 1900. The requirements for joining the 4th are that a brother Knight must be a third degree member in good standing, be an exemplary Catholic, and be of sound citizenship of his country.

The Fourth Degree is frequently regarded as an honorary title but should rather be thought of in terms of service to church and country, and the goals of the Fourth Degree may be summarized as the promotion of the ideals of Catholicism and Patriotism side by side.

In more detail, these goals may be stated as:

•   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. 

Therefore, it is not unusual to find Fourth Degree Knights participating visibly in church events, such as Eucharistic processions, and others, and in the community, standing up for the unborn and the elderly at Pro-Life events, and commemorating the sacrifices of previous generations.

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.

Please take the time during both Council and Assembly meetings to promote the Fourth Degree Exemplification and encourage Third Degree or lower members to attain the title of Sir Knight. Make sure a candidate receives the full packet of information which includes valuable instructions on what is needed for registration. 

At this time when our way of life is being challenged both locally and globally, we ask that all men rise up to answer the call of becoming a Fourth Degree member to show that we will publicly defend both our rights and religious responsibilities. 

Founding Principles and Core Values

Keeping the Promise 
to You and Our Order

Father Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus on the principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. Today, these principles serve as the foundation of our Core Values:

Integrity: Firm adherence to ethics, honesty, and a moral code.

Professionalism: Promoting the highest standards in all we do.

Excellence: Leading by example and constantly striving to be the best.

Respect: Treating each other with the highest regard.

This Code of Ethics and Conduct demonstrates how our Core Values guide us in situations that we may encounter.


Religiously Devoted, Patriotically Proud

For most men who follow Jesus, there comes a time when duty extends beyond our own lives, beyond how we lead our families, and into how we serve our fellow man. That’s what the Knights of Columbus is all about. The Patriotic Degree allows K of C members to take this one step further. “Sir Knight” is more than a title — it’s an honor.

More Questions…
Get In Touch

Michael Grimes – Faithful Navigator
Father William J. Mitchell Assembly 3817
Protector of Life
Vivat Jesus!

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