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Knights of Columbus

Bishop Ruocco Council 9275
Chelmsford/Westford/Littleton, MA
   •   PO Box 65   •    Chelmsford, MA 01824  •
















The Fourth Degree


The Knights of Columbus was founded on March 29, 1882, in New Haven, Connecticut to provide mutual aid and assistance to its members and their families, originally chartered by the State of Connecticut as the “Knights of Columbus of New Haven.”  In 1889, a legislative amendment to the charter authorized the present name: “Knights of Columbus.”  The organization founded by Father McGivney now has 1,200,000 members in councils in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Philippines, Panama, Puerto Rico, Guam and Guatemala.

Originally the order had only three degrees exemplifying the principles of CHARITY, UNITY and FRATERNITY. 

Complying with the wishes of the membership, the Board of Directors approved the Fourth Degree and the first exemplification was held in New York City on February 22, 1900.



The primary purpose of the fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism.  To do this the Fourth Degree is designed to strengthen love of country and encourage responsible citizenship.



In order to be eligible for membership in the Fourth Degree, the applicant must be:

  • Over eighteen years of age.
  • A citizen of the country in which he resides.
  • A Third Degree member in good standing in his council and initiated in the Admission Degree at least twelve months prior to his initiation in the Fourth Degree.

A third Degree member may apply for membership on his own initiative or upon invitation by any Fourth Degree member.


Color Guards

Public appearance of fourth degree Knights as honor guards at civic and religious functions is an important activity of each assembly.  Their colorful capes and plumed headgear add dignity and a pride of church and country to any event.  By these public demonstrations, their loyalties bring credit to themselves and to the Knights of Columbus.


Seven reasons why knights should join the fourth degree

  • The fourth Degree is a group of outstanding Knights of Columbus dedicated to promoting patriotism enlightened by the Catholic faith.
  • It works for the application of Christian principles in all levels of democratic government.
  • It calls upon its members to distinguish themselves with heroic deeds for god, for country and for our Order.
  • It supports such religious, civic and charitable causes as are consistent with its high ideals.
  • It opposes the institution and development of forces inimical to good Christian government.
  • It educates its members and the world at large to be defenders of our democratic institutions.
  • It is the highest degree in the Knights of Columbus, giving a greater knowledge and appreciation of our Catholic heritage.


The Exemplification for the Fourth Degree typically takes place once per year.



If you are interested in the Fourth Degree, Please see Barry Bell at a meeting or contact him at home for an application form, and details.


                                                     Barry Bell

                                                          236 Mammoth Road

                                                          Lowell, Ma  01854-2226





Copyright Supreme Council of Knights of Columbus, 1999, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510, (203) 772-2130, info@kofc.org .