54th Biennial National Convention Daily Recap, Friday, July 20, 2012
Catholic Daughters of the Americas 54th Biennial National Convention
Friday, July 20, 2012
Content provided by Tom Panas, Public Relations Director
The day began with Eucharistic Liturgy. The morning’s offertory was for the Archdiocese of the Military. A color
guard of four military men in uniform, two with rifles, two with flags, entered. The gathering sang “The Star Spangled
Banner” and “America the Beautiful” as the clergy processed, mostly in white. National Chaplain Father Ed Lamp said, “I
love the part of ‘America the Beautiful,’ that says ‘God Shed his Grace on Thee,’ and then Father spoke of the terrible
shooting in Colorado.
In his homily, Father Ed said, “I marvel at the spiritual growth I have recognized in my own life. I had only been
ordained for one year and the God I knew was a God of rules and regulations.” Father continued, “God will be to you
who you say God is. I think that Jesus invites us to march to the music that Jesus plays for us.”
Before Mass ended, the military retrieved the colors and Father Michael Schommer blessed the Catholic
Daughter rosaries that will be distributed to each resident in Nebraska nursing homes. The closing hymn was “God Bless
Joanne Tomassi opened the morning business session. Father Joe Townsend, Oklahoma State Chaplain, opened
the meeting with prayer. “Let us come together in prayer, reminding ourselves we are in the presence of God always.
We ask you to watch over our words and thoughts that they may always honor you…we ask Our Lady to intercede for us
as we pray the Hail Mary.” The gathering then prayed the Hail Mary.
Joanne announced the Timekeepers, and introduced Past National Regent M. Joan McKenna to give a message.
Among Joan’s remarks, she said, “We remember, we celebrate, we believe. I have been accused for over 50 years of
having purple and gold blood. CDA is indeed a conversation with our Lord, for He uses us as an instrument for peace and
love. God bless you all and good luck with retaining your members and recruiting new active members. I believe that by
spreading wings, having a goal and devising a personal strategy that even impossible dreams become real.”
Chairman of the Elections Committee Nina Lindsey read the Elections Committee report. Joanne Tomassi
said, “The chair declares the following national officers elected: National Regent Anne Nelson, National Regent Elect
Shirley Seyfried, First Vice National Regent Helene Shepard, Second Vice National Regent Olga Samaniego and National
Secretary-Treasurer Sherry Nilles. National Directors: Emily Guilherme, Sheila Storey, Vicki Feist, Mary Ann Kizer, Arline
Rich, Margaret Bingham, Ruth Guidry, Margie Oller and Joyce Ann Fleming.
Joanne Tomassi said, “This, ladies and gentlemen, is our 2012-2014 National Board. Congratulations!”
The Chairman of the Elections Committee returned to the podium to give the results of the voting for the
nominating committee. She thanked the Election Committee for working long and hard. Joanne then declared the
following elected to the nominating committee: Lois Nelson (chairman), Deb Makovicka, Eve Trevino, Helen Arndorfer,
Connie Boutwell, Melody Ciaravino, Kay Gilette and alternates Bonnie Fox and Patricia Gavin.
Joanne then gave the charge to the Nominating Committee. Each member replied affirmatively and then
printed their name on the pledge. Copies of the pledge were made during the lunch break.
National Public Relations Chairman Tom Panas presented on SHARE Magazine, explaining the deadlines, the
process for submitting stories for Court News, how stories are chosen, and Mary Impellizeri explained the procedures
for dealing with changes of address.
Circle of Love reports began with National Legislative Chairman Margaret Sitte announcing legislative awards.
Margaret said, “I want to encourage you to make legislation an active part of your state activities and your local court
activities, especially in these challenging times.”
National Membership Chairman Letty Calvetti announced the membership awards and said, “I want to thank
all the courts that increased by at least one member in the last two years and I want to thank the Board for helping get
the ‘let your light shine’ theme out to people.”
Past National Regent Grace DiCairano continued messages from Past National Regents. “This marks the 18 th
National Convention that I am attending. I will be a Catholic Daughter 63 years next month. Membership in the Catholic
Daughters has enriched my life, my faith and my love for the greatest organization of women who have contributed to a
very wide variety of charitable programs.“
It was then announced that the total collection was $1904.38 for yesterday’s collection for Boys Town.
Rev. D. Timothy Grimme, Pennsylvania State Chaplain, ended the morning session. “Heavenly father we
graciously ask your blessings upon us, on our efforts, our work and give us the renewed energy we need to accomplish
all of your works.”
Following lunch, Joanne Tomassi opened the afternoon session and introduced the Timekeepers.
Monsignor Carl Schmitt, Iowa State Chaplain, offered the opening prayer. Monsignor continued the clergy
tradition of beginning with a joke, and then said “Loving and gracious God…please send us nurturing rain…we pray for all
those who are suffering in any way, especially those who have lost a loved one…we commit ourselves to be Eucharistic
people…and realize that we are the bread of life.”
Joanne then introduced guest speaker Patrick Fagan of MARRI (Marriage and Religion Research Institute). He
used sociological research to support his belief that the marriage relationship founded on the love of God is key to a
healthy society and successful economy. Chastity, he said, is the foundational virtue of all of society. He concluded, “I
think your grandchildren are calling on you to grow the intact young family that will worship God weekly.” The MARRI
website is www.marri.us.
National By-Laws Chairman Emily Guilherme gave the Bylaws report. She said the Bylaws Committee did not
support the adoption of amendments 1, 2, 6, 7 and 23. The Bylaws Committee supported the adoption of amendments
3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 through 22. All of these amendments passed, some with additional amendments, except for
amendments 3 and 4.
Joanne announced the CDA charitable contributions: North American College: $17,000. Catholic Relief Services:
$8,000. SOAR! (Support Our Aging Religious): $9,000. Covenant House: $6,000. Missionaries of Charity: $12,000.
Tutwiler Clinic: $12,000. Smile Train $51,000. Laboure Society: $2900.
Joanne concluded, “At this convention, you will be presenting $158,700 in charitable contributions.”
Helene Shepard said that at the last State Officers Conference the National Board adopted the Laboure Society
in place of the American College of Louvain, which closed its doors. Helene made a motion that $3500 still allocated for
The American College of Louvain be given to the Laboure society. A vote was taken and the motion passed.
National JCDA Chairman and National Director Arline Rich, wearing the new blue JCDA shirt, announced the
winners of the three national youth scholarships in the amounts of $1,000, $500 and $500.
Father Stephen Porter, California State Chaplain, closed the meeting, beginning with a joke, thanked God and
asked for God’s blessing to return everyone safely from Fun Night.
Glimpses of Convention Highlights
Catholic Daughters Wore Red In Support of Our Troops
Guest speaker Patrick Fagan from MARRI with Joanne Tomassi
Military Cover Guard Leads Procession to Eucharistic Ministry
Morning Eucharistic Liturgy
State Regents Luncheon
National Officers 2012-2014
Left to right, National Secretary-Treasurer Sherry Nilles, Second Vice National Regent Olga Samaniego, National Regent Anne Nelson, National Regent Elect Shirley Seyfried and First Vice National Regent Helene Shepard.
Photos may be downloaded by left clicking on the photo to enlarge it. Then, right clicking on the enlarged photo and selecting save image. Photos by Terry Vacek.
John 20:19-23 is one of two possible Gospel readings for Pentecost Sunday. In it, Jesus says "peace be with you" twice. First, he gives his disciples the gift of peace so that they can take their focus off of their worries to look at him and recognize him standing in their midst.