The history of the creation of the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus of is directly linked to the social and political climate in the United States at the turn of the last century. It is in that light that the connection between the Fourth Degree and its Color Corps, that has grown to be the most visible aspect of the Knights, must be seen.
Following the Spanish American War, it was decided that there should be one new Degree added based on the principle of Patriotism. In 1899, Edward L. Hearn was elected Supreme Knight and he immediately appointed a committee to establish and format the new Degree to be given the following year.
Originally, in order to qualify for this Degree each candidate had to be a Third Degree member of the Knights of Columbus in good standing for 3 years, and show evidence of distinctive service to the Order, church, and community. Finally the candidate had to have a letter from his priest stipulating that he had received communion within the past two weeks.
The first Exemplification of the new Degree was held New York City on February 22, 1900. The Honor Guard, first called for in 1886 was officially formed in 1902, for ceremonial purposes. Since that time, the uniforms of the Color Corps have varied, however all have shared the similar theme of mariners. Most noticeable in today's current uniform is the chapeau worn with ostrich feathers.
Pope John Paul I Assembly 1829 was chartered in 1981. Most of its members are from local councils in O’Fallon and Fairview Heights. Some members are active duty and retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed at nearby Scott AFB, IL. As of March 2014, Assembly 1829 has 104 members.
The 4th Degree holds meetings at the council hall the first Wednesday of every month at 7:30pm.
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