The Southern California District of the Saint Junipero Serra Province is comprised of 54 Assemblies in the Catholic Dioceses’ of the Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino & San Diego areas.
The ' Patriotic Degree ' in California / History of the District
The Fourth Degree was established on February 22nd, 1900 on the principle of patriotism - love for and devotion to one's country. Fourth Degree Knights, or Sir Knights as they are called, focus the majority of their activities on this principle. It is the highest and most prestigious degree within the Order of the Knights of Columbus. It is a group of outstanding Knights who are dedicated to the service of the Church, their Country and our Order.
During the first eighteen years of its existence, the Knights of Columbus had only the first three degrees representing Charity, Unity and Fraternity. At the close of the century it was decided to establish a degree representing patriotism, one which would be more selective in its appeal than the traditional or basic degrees. The new ritual was named the Fourth Degree and was first exemplified in New York on February 22nd, 1900. Fourteen hundred members were chosen to witness this ceremony. It was expected that they would recruit from their councils other Knights worthy of receiving the highest degree. In the years that followed, the patriotic honor was exemplified in various cities and those who took it became a special group, or an assembly within their respective councils.
Formal organization came in 1910 when the Supreme Council provided a government for the degree and gave it a basic law.
The Patriotic Degree was exemplified for the first time in the state of California, in the City of Los Angeles on June 10th, 1905. This was in connection with the convention of the Supreme Council being held at that time in the City of Our Lady Queen of the Angels.
Three years later the Patriotic Degree again was conferred in California. This time in the City of San Francisco on May 10th, 1908. Those who took the degree then, along with those who previously had received it 1905, formed the nucleus of the Fourth Degree membership in the state and constituted the local assemblies of their respective councils. California was made a Fourth Degree District between 1910-1911. In 1912 the main District of California was divided into two Districts… Northern District and Southern District.
Because of the growth of the Fourth Degree in both the Northern and Southern California Districts, the Supreme Board of Directors in April of 1958 created the Central California District. Those are the three Districts that we have today.
A Fourth Degree Sir Knight is a member of a group of men dedicated to promoting the virtue of patriotism, illuminated by their Catholic faith. It is an honor to wear the uniform and participate in the Color Corp and Honor Guards. It is a position of prestige and something for which all Knights should strive for.
The Fourth Degree is the final step in your quest for full knighthood in our Order of the Knights of Columbus.
Any Third Degree Knight in 'good standing' is eligible for membership in the Fourth Degree. There is no waiting period to join the Fourth Degree. Members of the Fourth Degree must retain their membership as Third Degree members with their council to remain in 'good standing'.
Exemplifications are usually held three times a year in the Southern California District. Upcoming Exemplifications will be listed on this site as soon as the official announcement is made by the District Master so you may plan accordingly.
Membership in the Fourth Degree is through an
"Assembly". If you meet the qualifications, please contact the Assembly of your choice to submit your application. Your Grand Knight or the District Master can assist you in making
contact with the Assembly.
Refer to the CONTACT INFO tab to contact the District Master.
Sir Knights of the Fourth Degree, deem it an honor and privilege to carry our TRIAD EMBLEM, which features The Dove, The Cross, and The Globe. Our Honored Order cherishes as its Patron, Christopher Columbus.
Spiritually, the sacred symbols fashioned on our sword and lapel pin, typify the union of the Three Divine Persons in one Godhead The Most Holy Trinity.
Bearers of this emblem are committed to conduct themselves honorably as Christian gentleman in their private and public lives, as well as acting patriotically for the good of their nations. Likewise, the Fourth Degree sword represents the bearer's reverence for the Eucharist and the Pope, Bishops and Hierarchy of the Church, and displays publicly his willingness to protect his Church and priests. Considered under a religious aspect, we have the homor and privilege of wearing on our swords and our lapels the sacred symbol of the Most Blessed Trinity. This should always remind us to live a good Christian life, and that we should never bring dishonor on the emblem we have been privileged to wear. By this, others may see our good works, through which we will glorify our Holy Religion, our Honored Order and our Beloved Country.
** Announcement **
Due to the COVID-19 Virus, the District Bi-Annual Meeting has been rescheduled and will be held online.
I hope that all of you, along with your families have remained healthy.
Due to the Covid-19 Virus the bi Annual meeting originally planned for March 21 will now be held online. State Trainer Ed Broadhurst has graciously offered to assist via the State Training Offices GoToWebinar set up.
Meeting time will be April 25th at 1:00 PM. A formal invitation with log in information will be sent soon.
Please note that I will need the email address of each attendee. Even those of you have submitted your delegate lists will need to provide each delegate’s email address. FNs and Comptrollers should reach out to delegates and compile the information. Please send one Assembly list with each delegate’s name and email to District Secretary Bill Schafer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This will be a different meeting than usual. Please bear with us as we work out the logistics of holding this meeting online instead of in person.
Thank you and God bless.
Raymond J. Forgette, Master
Southern California District
St. Junipero Serra Province
Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree