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.



Roark Galloway

Master, Fourth Degree
Southern California District

Saint Junipero Serra Province

Tim Fukuda

Vice Supreme Master
Fourth Degree

Saint Junipero Serra Province

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