The Fourth (Patriotic) Degree is the most colorful and enlightening degree of our order. The order originally had three degrees, but near the end of the last century, the membership petitioned for a new degree to be called “Patriotic.” The Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus approved the request and the first exemplification was held in New York City on February 22, 1900. More that 1000 Third Degree members received this honor. Members receiving the Patriotic (4th) Degree are called Sir Knights.
The Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus ws built on the principle of patriotism, love for and devotion to one’s country. Fourth Degree Knights focus the majority of their activities on this principle. Be it known that the Fourth Degree is an important part of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic, family, fraternal, service organization. Nurturing a spirit of fraternalism within our assembly is a vital aspect of the work of the Fourth Degree. The members celebrate and perpetuate patriotism, and demonstrate national pride. This is visually exemplified by our dedicated members of the Color Corps in national, community, and church ceremonies.
Wappingers Assembly is a part of the Knights of Columbus’ St. Isaac Jogues Province, Second New York District. The Wappingers Assembly is made up of approximately 120 members from 10 councils. The majority, about 90% live in the Hudson Valley area.
Our meetings are similar to that of the 3rd degree, though you will notice some differences. There is one meeting per month from September through June. Our meetings are preceded by interesting conversation, setting a fraternal atmosphere. Our meetings are normally short. Most are approximately 1 1/4 hours.
Significant events through each year include:
- A 4th Degree Exemplification and Banquet once a year normally in April. This is when 3rd degree members who have been Knights for at least one year have the opportunity to join this prestigious degree. The degree is very impressive and each new Sir Knight experiences the prominence of Patriotism, love of God and Country.
- Renewal of Obligations where all members review each of the four degrees in an impressive ceremony and formation. The ceremony is headed by the District Master and his Marshal.
- Installation of officers, impressively flanked by our Color Corps. This ceremony is also headed by the District Master and his Marshall.
Members of the Wappingers Assembly participate in many patriotic events including an annual mass followed by a picnic for the veterans at a local Veterans health facility. Many volunteers come out to prepare and serve our veterans with fine food and good will. Escorting disabled veterans to a local professional ball game has become a yearly event with the addition of Dutchess Stadium. Participation in the village of Wappingers Falls annual “Picnic in the Park” is included on our schedule with the Wappingers Council at the park and in the parade. Our Assembly proudly displays our colors at the Dutchess County St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Wappingers Community Day Parade. On Memorial Day we are present at both the Rural Cemetery and the St. Mary’s Cemetery for services to honor those who gave service to our country. The community looks for our participation in all various civil and veteran organization events.
An important part of the 4th Degree is the Color Corps. It is the “visible presence” of the Knights of Columbus. It is the visual contact with the community, expressing our dedication to God and Country. Any 4th degree Knight can participate in this distinguished group. Our Color Corps is seen at monthly masses for the deceased members of the K of C; community parades; civil, religious, and K of C ceremonies; and at wakes for our 4th degree members. The Wappingers Assembly and its Color Corps are proud to boast of their involvement and recognition within the Knights of Columbus’ 2nd New York District, and in the local communities. The Assembly and its Color Corps are considered among the best and most active in the district.
For information on joining the Wappingers Assembly, contact Mike Kelly at (845) 462-2865.