Catholic Daughters Welcome New Members and Install Officers

By J.C. Vega

The Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA) is one of the largest organizations of Catholic women. Founded in 1903, the CDA work to support the Church, various educational and charitable causes, as well as their own organization.

On Tuesday, May 21, 2024 the CDA Court Madonna #2067 gathered together for the reception of new members and the installation of officers. The ceremony took place at a special 1:00 PM Mass celebrated by Father Williams, with the music provided by Steve Raml. The Mass began with the officers and members proceeding into church, led by a flag bearer and a banner bearer, and then Father Williams gave a welcoming message to our CDA Court. 

After the Gospel and Father Williams’ homily, Dorothy Plett, our CDA Coordinator, performed the reception ceremony for the new members of our court.  Next, Vee Dietrich, our CDA District Deputy, installed the five incoming officers.  The duties of each officer were read as they were being installed, and they each lit a candle symbolizing their acceptance to take on the important role of their position. (Due to illness, two of the new officers were unable to attend, and other members were there as proxy.)

The officers wore robes and the members were dressed in white for this occasion, and an explanation was given of the symbols on the robes and their important significance to the CDA. The Regent and Vice Regent wear purple indicating their willingness, through our leaders, to sacrifice in order that the Catholic Daughters of the Americas may contribute their share in the general program of the Apostolate of the Laity as directed by our religious leaders.  The official emblem on the Regent’s robe is the Cross and Crown, and on the Vice Regent’s robe it is a Crown.   The robes of the other three officers are in the patriotic colors of red, white and blue.  The crossed-quills emblem on the Recording Secretary’s robe symbolizes her responsibilities for correspondence as well as for keeping the history of the court through the minutes. The Financial Secretary has a crossed key and quill symbolic of her duties of keeping membership and financial records of the court. The robe of the Treasurer shows crossed keys, symbolic of her complete authority over CDA funds, particularly her responsibility for their safekeeping. The members of the court pledged to give their support to the newly installed officers during their two-year term.

After the installation ceremonies were complete, the Mass continued and when it was over, all those in attendance were invited over to the hall for refreshments and community. It was a perfect time to congratulate the new officers and our newest members. This was the first installation Mass we have had at St. Elizabeth Seton; previously we met at another church for this ceremony. 

Dorothy Plett, a member of the CDA for three years and a parishioner of St. Elizabeth Seton for five years, generously devoted her time and talent organizing this program. She had been working on this program since April, and based on the success and organization of this installation ceremony, it is hard to believe that prior to this she had no experience in running this type of activity; she certainly did a great job. 

Vee Dietrich, our CDA District Deputy, also offered her experience to help bring this about. Vee joined CDA in 1970, initially with an Illinois court. She has been District Deputy of Court Madonna for four years, and with Court St. Clare of Assisi for ten years. When asked what the installation Mass meant to her, she replied “It helps bond the members when celebrating the acceptance of responsibility of certain members who we pledge to support in their office.  Having Father bless our court during the Mass makes it very special and enforces what we stand for.” 

Our current CDA Officers are: Regent, Bernadette Labat; Vice Regent, Paulette Nordin; Recording Secretary, Kay Rose Wiskirchen; Financial Secretary, Peggy Boelke; and Treasurer, Joyce Nimis. 

If you are interested in joining or supporting Catholic Daughters, please contact our Regent, Bernadette Labat, at 602-565-6429, or come join us at our meeting in September.  Our meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month, September through May.  We meet at 12:00 noon in the Parish Hall.


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