National Regent's February Message February is not known to be a cheerful month. The climate can be pretty dreary – and the unusual weather of late throughout our country has been unsettling.
Hopefully, the groundhog did not see his shadow in your area and you can hope for better weather! (Groundhog Day was February 2.) Legend has it that the groundhog pops his head out of the ground after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow.
If he sees it, it is an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and he returns to his hole; if the day is cloudy, thus no shadow, it is a sign of good weather to come.)
Dreary weather and doldrums aside, February is a month with much to celebrate. On February 12 we honor the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, whose Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1963 prohibited the terrible practice of slavery.
It is hard to believe that slavery could ever exist in this great country and we owe profound thanks to the man who ended it. February is also Black History Month providing us with an opportunity to continue reflecting upon the gains made among the races while praying for guidance as to how each of us might help improve the situation.
February 22 is George Washington’s birthday, a day on which we honor a man who showed great leadership and courage as both General and President, consistently putting the interests of the new America ahead of his own ambitions.
When we’re bothered by the winter cold this month let’s remember General Washington and his troops crossing the Delaware River in bitter cold, some without shoes, their feet bleeding, to surprise British troops and win a decisive battle in our Revolutionary War. We can give thanks for our freedom, bundle up and keep things in perspective.
A lesser-known birthday celebration but one I believe to be significant – especially to us as a women’s organization -- is that of Susan B. Anthony.
According to the Susan B. Anthony House website (this will link to that website) Ms. Anthony was born in Adams, Massachusetts on February 15, 1820. She became an activist woman at a time when women were not encouraged to speak out, working for the abolition of slavery, educational reform and improved labor conditions and laws. She is especially noted for her work as a “Suffragist,” striving to obtain for women the right to vote. The sad fact is that in the nineteenth century, women did not have the right to vote in our country.
Ms. Anthony would be especially pleased to know that a woman is running for president. The Catholic Daughters do not endorse political candidates and we may like or dislike the current democratic hopeful, but I think we can all agree it’s wonderful that a woman can be in the running.
Susan B. Anthony was a Quaker. We are an organization of Catholic women but our appreciation and respect extends to all meritorious women. Thank you, Ms. Anthony, for your fine work on behalf of all of us.
Of course on February 14 we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day. It’s a fun and romantic holiday, but I think that it, too, has a deeper significance than the hearts and flowers it is known for – particularly for Catholic Daughters.
Like Valentine’s Day, the symbol of our Circle of Love (this will link to the Circle of Love) program is the heart – actually, a circle of hearts connected by seven branches, all leading to a heart in its center. The branches – Life, Youth, Projects, Legislation, Spiritual, Leadership, Education -- represent the needs of the Church and community best served by the Catholic Daughters.
Claudia R. Bosch
Father Matthew’s Sunday Reflection
I want to take a break from our regular scripture reflections to speak a bit about one part of what it means to be a parish: the parish as a place of joy. Our local parishes are celebrating their annual festivals this month and next, which I thoroughly enjoy. I love seeing people take a break from their routines to celebrate being a family in Christ.
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Catholic Daughters of the Americas strives to embrace the principle of faith working through love in the promotion of justice, equality, and the advancement of human rights and human dignity for all.