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2011 Campus Courts Retreat

Texas State Court Hosts the Campus Court Second Biennial Conference/Retreat

by Terrie Vacek, Texas Public Relations Chair

The second Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA) Campus Court Biennial Conference/Retreat was held October 28-30, 2011 at the Drury Inn, San Antonio. Six of the nation’s thirteen Campus Courts are located in Texas. Participating were Saint Mary’s University, San Antonio; Texas Women’s University/University of North Texas, Denton; University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio; with nineteen (19) students, two advisors, state officers, Chairmen, a National Director, and an Immediate Past State Regent. Texas also has Campus Courts at Baylor University, Saint Thomas More University and Stephen F. Austin University.

An amazing personal presentation of the retreat theme "Being Women of Light in a College Setting" by Francesca Garcia, Bells of Saint Mary’s Court # 2615, was both motivating and encouraging. Kailey Veteto, UIW, with Campus Court State Chairman Barbara Britton, San Antonio, presented a skit based on the Lord’s Prayer. Playing the guitar, Saint Mary’s advisor Irene Quesnot led the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

First Vice State Regent Peggy Rosales, Austin, gave a PowerPoint presentation on Membership and Leadership followed by Second Vice State Regent Eve Trevino, Corpus Christi, on organizational business, record keeping and reporting.

Campus Court Regents Kailey Veteto and Selena Rangel, Incarnate Word and St. Mary’s, engaged attendees in a game that led directly into a very productive brainstorming session. There was lots of note taking as they shared the successful results of their various service events such as: helping with local parish outreach, hosting silent retreats for all women on campus, manicure pampering adding a spiritual component within the event, Rosary Walk, cleaning graffiti off public buildings, Habitat for Humanity builds, and adopting a highway. They said that their "idea bank" is used for strengths and interests that move members forward in faith with service events that work for the specific members and the targeted recipients. Here they found that obstacles shared can be turned into opportunities on a new path.

The Brainstorming session revealed the important key of being true to self and their Catholic Faith. They emphasized what CDA has to offer that is unique from other campus organizations. One member stated that "it’s in what we do, the joy we have when we do it, and the bond we build knowing that it is not limited to our campus years; our investment takes us right into a senior court building deeper unity and working in charity."

As State Regent Carolyn Malik, Shiner, presented "You Are a Piece of the Puzzle," members identified the many ways their participation in CDA brings value to the Church and their campus community. National Director Olga Samaniego, El Paso, engaged members in several styles of prayer and devotionals providing new tools to open wide the secrets to powerful prayer; she led the Lectio Divina which involves listening for the Gentle Touch of Christ the Word, identifying how Christ the Word speaks to me, and what Christ the Word invites me to do.

State Public Relations and Scrapbook Chair Terrie Vacek, Willis, challenged members to use every opportunity to capture, record, report and promote who and what they are. Vacek emphasized that with the revolving membership of Campus Courts, by maintaining a memory book of the membership and their amazing service projects, they not only honor those who established the formation of their court, but archive the fruits of their efforts. She asked them to "use the tools received here today, take a puzzle piece and give it to another student on campus to let her know that she is the missing piece in your court and vital to the success of your next event. Be creative with service outreach and in building membership, then use your cell phone cameras and archive everything!"

Celebrant Reverend Kip Stander, Bells of Saint Mary’s Chaplain, simplified the many options offered in life and in scripture stating that "we are to connect the readings to what you are to do, with what you have, and where you are on your journey to the Lord and for the Church. How we do what we do for God‘s glory is shown by how we use our gifts in word and deed. Recognize the need and then move into your motto of unity and charity."

The Saturday night costume party was a resurrection of goblins, Disney characters, and the 50’s. The "T.S.P." closing ceremony was a rotation of personal prayers that included thanksgiving, sorrow for sinfulness, and prayer requests.