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Texas State Court Celebrates 95th Anniversary

By Terrie Vacek, State Public Relations Chair

The Catholic Daughters of the Americas Texas State Court enjoyed the kick-off anniversary celebration of their 95th anniversary hosted by Port Isabel Court #2569 for the dioceses of Corpus Christi and Brownsville. Court Regent Judy Gutierrez welcomed representatives from National, State, and eighteen area courts that gathered in Port Isabel, to celebrate the bountiful successes over the past ninety five (95) years. Proudly displaying the state banner are National Director (Past State Regent) Olga Samaniego, El Paso; State Regent Carolyn Malik, Shiner; First Vice State Regent Peggy Rosales, Austin; Second Vice State Regent Eve Trevino; Corpus Christi; State Secretary Rosie Stockwell, Edinburg; State Treasurer Melodie Brunt, Texarkana.

Also celebrating the Anniversary were Past State Regents - Amy Rueda, 1996-1998, El Paso; Immediate Past National Regent Libby Ramirez, 1998-2000, Victoria; Past National Director Duchess Collins, 2000-2002, Sugar Land; National Director Olga Samaniego, 2005-2007, El Paso; Carolyn Bachmann, 2007-2009, Scotland; Four State Chairmen - Terri Beltran, El Campo; Cathy Bittner, Rosenberg; Rosalinda Gutierrez, Kingsville; Terrie Vacek, Willis; Eight District Deputies - Pat Medina #16, Corpus Christi; Sara Valdez, #21, Mission; Janie Corona, #22, San Benito; Socorro Vicinaiz, #31, Los Fresnos; Iris Hinojosa #43, Benavides; Delma Cantu #47, Odem; Terri Contreras, #50, McAllen; Benita Sanchez, #57, Kingsville; Monsignor Patrick Wells, Port Isabel; and members husbands.

Reverend James Erving was celebrant for the opening Mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Port Isabel. Before leaving the rectory Father was questioned, "Lots and lots and lots of women all dressed in white are going into the church, are they nuns?" Father replied, "No, but just as holy!"

In his homily Rev. Erving stated that "even after ninety five years, our Father’s love for you is a deep profound longing. Through your service you have known His love for you individually as His precious daughter; 'In love He destined you in adoption to Himself'. It's not only about your Martha service; it's about who you are as daughters of the Father. The real gift of CDA is the witness of who you are to men, women and children because of your love. You bring the gift of hope to His people. Why is Mary called Blessed? It’s because she believed in the promise. Mary's example calls you to know and believe in the promise that He makes to you individually, to your courts, and your ministries. This charism, your vocation, your witness of love, proclaims the divine gift of wisdom for you are called by name to obey and serve. For 95 years, you have been very generous women and your Father will never be outdone in His generosity to you as you live individually and corporately. I join the Carmelite Nuns with a closing more profound than thank you, "God Reward You'."

Texas State Senator Eddie Lucio presented State Regent Carolyn Malik, Shiner, with Senate Proclamation No. 24 recognizing the Catholic Daughters of the Americas as an exceptional organization having a profound influence on their communities while practicing the values of faith, hope, and charity, and commends the Texas State Court on their many achievements and dedication for the past 95 years.

The reception luncheon was held at the Pearl Resort, South Padre Island with greetings from Mistress of Ceremonies Estela Ramirez, Regent Court #2425, Los Fresnos. Regent Malik read correspondence from National Regent Joanne Tomassi adding, "Pat yourselves on the shoulder for all you do to make the world a better place for all."

Guest Speaker Reverend Gregory Labus in his message on “Spirituality & Service through Unity & Charity” stated that "each of us is here as illegal aliens on a temporary visa because heaven is our real home. We’re on a road to unity consecrated in truth by love. It’s a sacramental love that we are all called to because of the transforming true love of Christ Himself."

National Director Olga Samaniego extended greetings of joy and thanksgiving for the incredible 95 years of service to our Church and community. The Past State Regents followed with words of congratulations; Amy Rueda noted how "the history of our courts has changed from pomp and ceremonials and from voting members into a court using the marbles in the wooden box to seeking out new members consistently." Libby Ramirez stated that "as Catholic Daughters we move forward when we agree to disagree for we give from our hearts." Duchess Collins emphasized that "together everyone accomplishes more; it’s about membership growth and teamwork." Carolyn Bachmann acknowledged that "these ladies know how to celebrate in style, thank you for hosting the first 95th anniversary celebration. Continue your work for we are all bound as sisters. I leave you this quote from Maya Angelou, 'I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.' You have all made me feel like a brilliant star."