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26th Biennial JCDA State Convention

By Terrie Vacek

26th Biennial
JCDA State Convention

June 26-28, 2015 - Corpus Christi

by Terrie Vacek,
Public Relations State Chairman

The Junior Catholic Daughters of the Americas 26th Biennial State Convention, June 26-28, 2015, Emerald Beach Hotel, Corpus Christi, TX, began with dinner and a beach party to welcome the Juniors and Juniorettes ‘Jettes’ along with their advisors and guests.

Special guests were CDA District Deputies, State Chairmen, State Officers, Past State Regents, and National Director Letty Calvetti who serves as the National Youth Chairman. It was a weekend to celebrate and share information of the Junior’s local court events as they walk in faith through the Orders three fold program of Message, Service, and Community.

“Footprints in the Sand” was the theme of the convention. The Co-Chairmen Sheila Martinka, Victoria, and Peggy Supak, LaGrange took this opportunity to remind the girls of a valuable message from Margaret Fishback Powers. Her poem portrays a powerful message from our Lord, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

The evening was filled with games and concluded with a concert on the beach provided by 2nd Power, from St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, Humble.

The assembly began the first day of business with morning praise and an action sing-a-long song "You're my sister, you’re my friend."

With one rap of the gavel JCDA State President Clella Evans, Court Our Lady of the Hills #2415, Round Rock, opened the convention for the 367 in attendance.

Saturday morning business began with the presentation and display of court banners from each of the courts attending the convention. In addition, each court was also asked to design a footprint that was used in the convention backdrop! The State JCDA Banner and Colors were presented by the host court, Court Our Lady of the Mystical Rose #2399, Corpus Christi. The pledge to the United States and Texas flags were led by Clella Evans. The JCDA song and JCDA pledge were led by Second Vice JCDA President Kaya Price, Court Ancillae Marie #1886, Crosby. There were a total of 32 Court banners on display!



Most Reverend Bishop Michael Mulvy, Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi was unable to attend due to his mother’s illness.

Correspondence letters were read; Governor Greg Abbott, CDA National Regent Shirley Seyfried, National Director and supervisor for the state of Texas Carolyn Bachmann, and Immediate Past State Regent Peggy Rosales.

Convention Chairman Rosie Rodriquez, Corpus Christi welcomed the delegates, alternates, advisors, clergy and guests. State President Clella Evans received the Proclamation from Corpus Christi Mayor Nelda Martinez.

National Youth Chairman, National Director Letty Calvetti shared a message from the National Order of the Catholic Daughters.

The 2013 JCDA State Convention minutes, the 2015 Convention Standing Rules, and the printed program were approved. Convention Parliamentarian was Past State Regent Carolyn Malik, Court St. Paul #1604, Shiner.

Chairman of the Resolutions Committee, Rachel Knapp, Court Ancillae Maraie #1886, Crosby reported that there were no new resolutions to come before the deligation.

The Credential Report was presented by Chairman Alyssa Jetter, Court Our Lady of Hyacinth #2361, Deer Park.

Guest speaker Jan Bethancourt, Sugar Land, began her talk stating, “You are wonderfully, beautifully made!” She encouraged the girls to “put on” an attitude of confidence, courage and compassion in order to really know who they are deep within. She added an item of clothing to represent each attitude; a shirt to wrap oneself in confidence, a wide belt to strap on courage, and a very long string of pearls to represent the compassion each person must have for herself. She wrapped herself with a sheer pink shawl while saying, “At the end of each day, look back with joy and with gratitude, wrap yourself in the compassion of your creator. You are wonderfully, beautifully made.”

Each court in attendance presented a three minute “JCDA Sisters in Action” PowerPoint presentation report highlighting their activities over the past two years!

CDA State Chaplain Fr. Bob Dunn pictured here with JCDA State Chaplain Msgr. John Peters congratulated the Juniors for the outstanding acts of love and service done in their parish and communities. He stated, “My parish will have a Junior Court by time you meet again.”

The Jette’s (girls 6-10) enjoyed several activities during the PowerPoint presentations, A Meeting Etiquette and Tea Party presented by Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Cheryl Supak with Juniorette Activity Chairman Erica Garcia, and the Art Workshop presented by Jan Bethancourt.

Representing the Senior Courts, State Regent Eve Trevino, Court Most Precious Blood #2380, Corpus Christi, congratulated the girls on their activities and amazing PowerPoint presentations. She commended them on the creative and many positive ways that they are being useful and making a difference. She closed her message by encouraging them to build their membership.

JCDA State Officers presented their Biennial Reports followed by the nominations for State Office. (The JCDA candidate requirements are as follows: Candidates for state office must be voted upon by her local court, must be at least 14 years of age at the time of the convention, must submit a paragraph describing candidates qualifications with a description of what the candidate has offered to JCDA and what she believes qualifies her as a state officer. The application with the following signatures, the Candidate, Local Court Advisor, and Candidates Parents, must be submitted to the State JCDA chairman by the deadline. It is the obligation of the local court advisor to confirm receipt of the application prior to the opening of convention business.)

Having all their paperwork in proper order, the following were nominated and elected by acclamation: President, Alison Muldrow (pictured on the right), Court Ancillae Mariae # 1886, Crosby; First Vice President, Rebecca Rodriguez, Court Lydia Miller # 2187, Harlingen; Second Vice President, Emma Greene, Court Annunciation # 1962, La Grange; Secretary, Elyssa Wagner, Court St. Paul # 1604, Shiner; Reporter, Kristian Castro, Court Our Lady of the Hills # 2415, Round Rock.

The JCDA State Officers under the guidance of Ms. Peggy, Ms. Sheila, and Monsignor John, established a new award pin based on the threefold program of Message, Service, and Community. The “Be Useful” JCDA State Pin represents the pinnacle of the pin program and is a new and unique opportunity for girls around the state to show that they have really learned to exemplify what it means to be active members of the Junior Catholic Daughters.

Congratulations to the following recipients who have been an active member of JCDA for the past two years or more, have held one or more leadership positions within JCDA or any service-based organization, and have been endorsed by their local JCDA advisor:

Sydney Herman
Ct. St. Paul #1604

Emma Greene
Ct. Annunciation #1962
La Grange

(Not Pictured)
Alexandra Flores
Ct. Our Lady of Angels #2505

Sky Garcia
Ct. San Roberto Bellarmine
El Campo

Claire Supak
Ct. Annunciation #1962
La Grange

Cynthia Garcia
Ct. San Roberto Bellarmine #2275
El Campo

Alyssa Ruiz
Ct. Our Lady of the
Mystical Rose #2399
Corpus Christi

Josephine Castro
Ct. Immaculate Heart of
Mary Living Rosary #2540
Mc Allen

The “Making a Difference” Starfish Awards were given to individuals who had made a significant contribution to JCDA over the past two years.

State Convention Chairman
Rosie Rodriguez

Linsay Tomlinson
State JCDA Retreat

Immediate Past State Regent Peggy Rosales

Benji Pardee and Cathy Bittner, State Projects, Cameron Park and Annunciation Maternity Home

JCDA State Chaplain Msgr. John Peters

Gracy Zambranoz
Sales and Catering Manager
Emerald Beach Hotel

Belinda Gonzales
JCDA Host Court #2399
Our Lady of the Mystical Rose
Corpus Christi

Mistress of Ceremonies for the Saturday night convention banquet was First Vice State President Olivia Perez, Court Mary Immaculate #1978, Roma. State JCDA Chaplain Msgr. John Peters led the meal prayer. Banquet guest speaker was Maria Elena de la O, Program Coordinator for Proyecco Juan Diego Children’s After School Tutorial Program, Brownsville. She extended sincere thanks to JCDA and the Junior Catholic Daughters State Officers for their hands-on support of the program.

Special guests seated from L-R are National Director Letty Calvetti, State Regent Eve Trevino, Past State Regent and Convention Parliamentarian Carolyn Malik, and First Vice State Regent Rosie Stockwell.

L-R standing is Immediate Past State Regent Peggy Rosales, Past State Regent and Past National Director Duchess Collins, State Treasurer Terri Beltran, State Secretary Becky Brown, JCDA Co-Chairman Past State Regent Sheila Martinka, and Co-Chairman Peggy Supak.

Newsletter Recognition Awards were presented; 1st place to Court Our Lady of St. Hyacinth #2361, Deer Park; 2nd place to Court Annunciation #1962, La Grange; and 3rd place to Court St. Paul #1604, Shiner.

The Saint Elizabeth Anne Seton Award was presented to Cynthia Casas, Court Oblates of Mary Immaculate #1978, Roma. The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award was created to recognize the significant contributions of persons serving the spiritual needs of Catholic members in organizations serving girls.

The Saint Anne Award was presented to Terri Beltran, State Treasurer and Immediate Past JCDA State Chairman. The St. Anne Medal is the highest national award for adults working with Catholic members in organizations serving girls. It is intended to honor the outstanding service of adults contributing to the spiritual development of Catholic members of girls’ organizations and to further Catholic leadership in youth ministry.

The Outstanding Junior of the Year was presented to Erin Supak, Court Annunciation #1962, La Grange. The winner of this award is chosen by the JCDA State Officers from the applications received from the local courts. Emphasis is placed on the member’s participation in JCDA, developing herself as a Christian working for the good of others, growing spiritually, being creative and flexible. Erin has been a member of JCDA for nine years. She is an altar server, lector, rosary leader, head cheerleader, was elected 4-H National Chairman, and serves a second term as the President of her local court.

Each of the 2013-2015 JCDA State Officers shared the highlights of their term in office. Gifts of appreciation were presented to Msgr. John Peters, Ms. Peggy and Ms. Sheila.

God’s Blessings and the gratitude of all Catholic Daughters go with the 2013-2015 State JCDA Officers as they continue their journey of Message, Service and Community!

While the delegates attended a caucus, the adults were entertained and inspired at the Saturday Night Adult Workshop.

Sunday morning business reconvened with a visit from four Campus Court members of Court Daughters of the Incarnate Word #2583, San Antonio. Each shared their college experience with Catholic Daughters along with some of their court projects, goals and challenges. They emphasized the power and support of the Catholic Community in the college atmosphere, and truly inspired the Juniors closing with an invitation to take advantage of the Campus Court experience.

Cristen said that “we are committed to one monthly community service project and are welcomed in peace to celebrate our Catholic faith with the special support and sisterhood of the Order. This is a difficult but doable goal that unites us in faith and friendship.” Their court has 45 members and works closely with the members of Saint Mary’s Campus Court, San Antonio.

L-R are Regent Cristen Gonzalez, Vice Regent Bianca Ponce, member Bianca Peralta, and Treasurer Tracy Nguyen.

Award Ribbons for the Scrapbook Contest were presented; 1st place to Court Immaculate Heart of Mary #1884, Conroe; 2nd place to Court St. Paul, Shiner; 3rd place to Court St. Elizabeth #1616, Sealy; Honorable Mention, Immaculate Heart of Mary Living Rosary #2540, Mc Allen.

Four JCDA members from Court Immaculate Heart of Mary #1884, Conroe, gather around their mentor, Yvonne Cummins to celebrate and place their 1st place ribbon into the winning scrapbook! On the right is Court #1884 Youth/JCDA Advisor Karen Veit.

The courtesy Committee Report was given and approved.

A check for $1,000.00 was presented to Maria Elena de la O, for the Proyecco Juan Diego Children’s After School Tutorial Program, Brownsville.

Colors were retired, Msgr. Peters led a closing prayer and the convention was adjourned.

Seated L-R 2015-2017 State Officers, President Alison Muldrow is not pictured (Isabel Londrigan, the “stand in/proxy” is pictured here for the Instillation Mass); First Vice President Rebecca Rodriguez; Second Vice President Emma Greene; Secretary Elyssa Wagner; Reporter Kristian Castro.

Standing L-R 2013-2017 JCDA Co-Chair Sheila Martinka; JCDA State Chaplain Msgr. John Peters; 2013-2015 JCDA State Officers, President Clella Evans, First Vice President Olivia Perez, Second Vice President Kaya Price, Secretary Emily Malinovsky, Reporter Marissa Hernandez-Pena; 2013-2017 JCDA Co-Chair Peggy Supak; National Director Letty Calvetti.

State Chaplain Msgr. John Peters was the celebrant for Mass. The Instillation of New State Officers highlights Monsignor’s thirty one (31) years as the state chaplain.

Contributions: Beach Party Photos by Sheila Martinka, JCDA Co-Chair and Past State Regent. Convention Report and Photos by Terrie Vacek, 2015-2017 Public Relations/Website State Chair.