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    Welcoming New Members While Honoring Our Founder

    California Knights recently welcomed dozens of new members in just one day – here’s how you can too

    By Andrew Butler 10/8/2020
    Image courtesy California State Council

    Knights of Columbus members in California recently welcomed dozens of Catholic men into the Order through a statewide exemplification day in honor of the Order’s founder, Father Michael J. McGivney. In providing the option for candidates to attend virtually or at any of six in-person locations across the state, the California Knights demonstrated how to serve their neighbors and their Church by welcoming new men into the Order even amid a global pandemic.

    To serve one’s family, country and Church is at the core of what it means to be a Knight, according to Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, who celebrated Mass prior to the exemplification in San Diego.

    “This core commitment of sacrifice which lies right at the heart of Christian discipleship is what the meaning of the Knights are and always have been,” Bishop McElroy said in his homily.

    For California State Deputy Stephen Bolton, the story of the meaning of the Order and its founder is one that needs to be shared. “We have all been through a tough time in the last number of months,” he said, “but it is time to step out and get back to what we do best, and that is to tell the Knights of Columbus story to every Catholic man in California.”

    The California Knights took these practical steps to ensure a successful event:

    • Ahead of the exemplification day, candidates were encouraged to take the first step on their membership journey by joining online.
    • The exemplifications were scheduled across the state with a hybrid approach of simultaneous and shared performances in-person and online.
    • After the Exemplification of Charity, Unity and Fraternity, candidates also had the option to attend a Fourth Degree Exemplification in the afternoon.
    • Health and safety precautions were prioritized throughout the day.

    Sonny R. Santa Ines, a past state deputy who attended the exemplification in Los Angeles, said that Knights in the state plan to organize more exemplifications after seeing the success of the recent event.

    “Once the officers of other councils saw the precautionary measures we took to make the exemplification safe, they told me they would like to do the same in their respective areas,” he said.

    To celebrate the upcoming beatification of our founder, Father McGivney, the K of C Supreme Council encourages all state and local councils to participate in an Orderwide exemplification day on Sunday, Nov. 1. State and local councils may participate in this event either virtually or in-person as each jurisdiction allows. The Supreme Council will also host virtual degrees on Nov. 1, in English, French & Spanish. Click the language to download updated candidate invitations in all three languages. For best practices and information for holding in-person ceremonies while adhering to social distancing and other COVID-19 guidelines, watch our recent webinar, titled “Growth: Extending Fr. McGivney’s Invitation.”

    (NOTE: Councils must file a form 100 for all candidates who complete an online exemplification. For clarification on the difference between the On-Demand Ceremony and Online Membership (Online Join), click here.)

    For more information, or to share how your council is welcoming new members, email



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