Although members of the council achieve full Knighthood by receiving three degrees, a Knight may choose to extend his service by attaining the fourth degree and, by doing so, join an additional organization called a "Fourth Degree Assembly."
In addition to being the home of the "Holy Cross Council No. 8509, Knights of Columbus," our parish is also the home of the "Pope John Paul II Assembly No. 3017."
The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism in members and the community at large and encourage active Catholic citizenship. Today, there are some 300,000 Fourth Degree Knights out of the total 1.75 million member Knights of Columbus. A fourth Degree Knight may become part of the assembly's color corps. These members are recognized widely by their distinctive attire of tuxedo, feathered hat (chapeau), cape, and sword. These members regularly take part in civic events such as parades and wreath-laying ceremonies, and at ecclesiastical functions at churches. The various colored capes and chapeau feathers denote different officer positions within the Fourth Degree.