January 2016 Faithful Navigator Message

History of the Fourth Degree From the very early days of the Order, members wanted to create a form of hierarchy and recognition for senior members; this issue was discussed at the National Meeting of 1899. As early as 1886 Supreme Knight James T. Mullen had proposed a patriotic degree with its own symbolic dress. The K of C established the Grand Cross of the Knights of Columbus but awarded it only to Cristobal Colón y de La Cerda, Duke of Veragua and descendant of Columbus, when he visited the US in 1893. About 1,400 members attended the first exemplification of the Fourth Degree at the Lenox Lyceum in New York on February 22, 1900. The event was infused with Catholic and patriotic symbols and imagery that "celebrated American Catholic heritage”. The two knights leading the ceremony, for example, were the Expositor of the Constitution and the Defender of the Faith. The ritual soon spread to other cities. The new Fourth Degree members returned to their councils, forming assemblies composed of members from several councils. Those assemblies chose the new members. In 1903, the Board of Directors officially approved a new degree exemplifying patriotism Order-wide, using the New York City model. There was from early on a "desire to receive within its ranks only the best", and each candidate was required to produce a certificate from his parish priest attesting that he had received Holy Communion within the past two weeks. .Lester E. Phillips, PGK Faithful Navigator Sacred Heart Assembly 2062

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