Held every four years as required by the Illinois Fraternal Insurance Code, our National Convention is attended by members elected as delegates who are empowered with full legislative, judicial, and governing powers. They are responsible for electing the High Court Officers and Trustees (Board of Directors) to serve four-year terms, and reviewing and revising the Constitution and Bylaws, policies, benefits, and other related items.
A Local Court is made up of a group of COF members in a specific geographic area, often associated with a parish. Every COF member is part of a court based on their address at the time of their policy purchase. There are Jurisdiction Courts and Local Courts within COF’s governance system.
A State Holding Court is a subordinate body where members are assigned when there are no existing Local Courts.
COF adult members (“Members”) are a part of the At-Large Jurisdiction Court if they belong to a Local Court located within ANY STATE other than the following:
- New England: (Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
The At-Large Jurisdiction was created by the High Court to ensure all members have the right to participate in the governance of Catholic Order of Foresters (COF). Because the COF governance process involves electing delegates to the National Convention by a Jurisdiction Convention, members who belong to Local Courts having no Jurisdiction Court or do not belong to a Local Court and reside in a state without a State Holding Court.
To be included in the pool of interested individuals for the February 28, 2024, drawing for convention delegates and alternate delegates, all eligible At-Large Jurisdiction adult members who are interested in being a candidate for selection as a delegate or alternate delegate to the National Quadrennial Convention must be:
- qualified and a good standing member of Catholic Order of Foresters,
- a Catholic in union with Rome, and
- have completed the application posted December 1, 2023, and submitted on or before February 1, 2024.
Delegate and Alternate Delegate Selection Process
The High Court will supervise the blind drawing of names of the delegates and alternate delegates from the applicable pool of candidates to fill all entitled delegate and alternate delegate positions.
The At-Large Jurisdiction Court is entitled to the number of delegates and alternate delegates as provided in Section 81 of the Constitution and Bylaws based on the number of members in good standing belonging to the At-Large Jurisdiction Court as of September 30, 2023 (1 delegate and 1 alternate delegate for each 500 members or for a major fraction of members within the At-Large Jurisdiction).
Any unfilled positions will be forfeited.
The Home Office will notify each selected delegate and alternate delegate of their position by March 31, 2024.
An aggregation of local courts in a geographic area as determined by the High Court for the purpose of electing delegates to the National Convention.
Elected jurisdiction delegates attend business meetings to vote for delegates to send to the National Convention, some jurisdictions may have Mass, a dinner or banquet, and a fraternal activity (preferably service-oriented). Read here for more details.
Each local court within a Jurisdiction that meets the requirements specified in the COF Constitution and Bylaws can elect delegates and alternates at a regular meeting held between October-December of the year before a Jurisdiction Convention. Refer to sections 65-73 in the COF Constitution and Bylaws for more information.
Delegates and alternates to the National Convention are elected at Jurisdiction Conventions. Adult regular members in good standing with their Local or Jurisdiction Court in the convention year may be a delegate or alternate. Refer to sections 80-83 in the COF Constitution and Bylaws for more information.