Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
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Catholic Daughters of the Americas from Washington, Idaho gather for centennial celebration in Clarkston
Story and photo by Bonita Lawhead, Inland Register staff
(From the July 31, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)
Pat Connell (right), second vice-regent of Washington State for the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, presents a plaque of appreciation to Bishop Skylstad during the CDA cetennial celebration in Clarkstion earlier this month. (IR photo)
Over 100 people attended the Washington-Idaho celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas July 20 in Clarkston.
The event began with Mass at Holy Family Church and ended with a luncheon at the Quality Inn on the Clearwater River.
Bishop William Skylstad was the presider at Mass. Concele-brating were Father Leonard Forsmann, pastor of Holy Family Parish, and Redemptorist Father George Rassley of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Father Rassley is the Idaho state chaplain for the Catholic Daughters.
Several original charters were on display at the luncheon.
The Catholic Daughters organization was founded in New York in 1903. At the age of 90, the oldest Court in Washington state is Court Washington in Spokane. Idaho’s oldest is Court Cataldo, at age 91. Currently there are 20 Courts in Washington and seven in Idaho.
Pat Connell, Washington state second vice-regent, hosted a brief program at the luncheon. She introduced state and regional officers, including Idaho State Regent Armelina Bernhardt and Mary Jo Kozar, a director on the National Catholic Daughters board.
Kozar had attended the Catholic Daughters’ centennial celebration in New York. Despite constant rain throughout the occasion, some 1,800 people attended the New York CDA centennial observance, she said.
Connell also read a letter from Marjory Pool, the Washington State Regent, who was unable to attend.
In his remarks to those gathered for the Mass and, later, at the luncheon, Bishop Skylstad congratulated the Catholic Daughters.
The centennial was “a milestone and a very significant day, giving us an opportunity to reflect back over our lives and on those who were so visionary. As Mary said ‘yes’ to God, so the Catholic Daughters through the years have said ‘yes,’ and they continue to stay ‘yes,’” he said.
The Catholic Daughters’ motto is “Unity and Charity” and their patroness is Blessed Mother Mary. It is the largest organization of Catholic women in the Americas. In their mission statement, the Catholic Daughters pledge to “participate in the religious, charitable and educational apostolates of the Church.”
Bishop Skylstad made a connection between the Daughters’ activities and evangelization. He talked about “helping the Gospel come alive, which is no easy task. We need to develop a sense of excitement and enthusiasm for our church. We live in very, very unusual times and yet the mission continues. We need to remain centered on the Lord and be open to the Spirit. I am grateful for the Catholic Daughters and who you are.”
To conclude the program, Connell made a special presentation to Bishop Skylstad. She read a piece titled “The Holy Hands of Holy Orders” and presented the bishop with a plaque.