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27th Biennial JCDA State Convention

27th Biennial
JCDA State Convention

June 23-25, 2017 - McAllen

The Junior Catholic Daughters of the Americas 27th Biennial State Convention was held June 23-25, 2017, at Embassy Suites Hotel, McAllen, Texas.

Special guests were National Regent Elect Olga Samaniego, National Director and Youth Chairman Arline Rich, CDA Officers, State Chairmen, State District Deputies, Past State Regents, and State Clergy. It was a weekend to celebrate and share information of the local junior court events as they walk in faith through the Orders three fold program of Message, Service, and Community.

“I Am The Bread Of Life” was the theme of the convention. Co-Chairmen Sheila Martinka from Victoria and Peggy Supak from LaGrange, along with Msgr. John Peters were on hand to remind the girls of our Lord’s message, as “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.’” John 6:35.

Friday evening began with a welcome by
State President Alison Muldrow.

Committee appointments were made
and meetings held prior to dinner.


After dinner attendees headed to Oval Park for a night of fun. Dancing, bowling, croquet, horse shoes, paddle boats and other games kept the group entertained as the sun set in the park.


Before lights out the group assembled in the ballroom for nightly praise where the Matachines dancers graciously performed to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The next morning began with praise lead by Msgr. John and co-chair Sheila Martinka.


Delegates next processed in with their court banners, which lined the walls of the ballroom, and were each seated behind the Texas shaped sign with each respective court number. The display of banners was awesome!

Roll call of delegates was completed by State Secretary Elyssa Wagner followed by the delegates briefing by acting parliamentarian Carolyn Malik.


Jan Rigsby from St. Vincent De Paul’s food program was called forward to receive the abundance of red bags filled with food items donated from the courts for the food pantry.

Mr. Rigsby provided a brief history of the program including that the program serves over 300 individuals each week. He gave a big thank you to the group and departed with help carrying out the large pile of food items.

With one rap of the gavel JCDA State President Alison Muldrow, Court Ancillae Maraie #1886, Crosby, opened the convention for the 254 in attendance.


The US and Texas Flags were presented by the host court, Court Our Lady of Mount Carmel #1993, Edinburg.

The pledge to the United States and Texas flags were led by President Muldrow. The JCDA song and JCDA pledge were led by the State officers.

Welcome to the city of McAllen came from Mayor Jim Darling, to the Brownsville diocese came from Father Alphonso Guevarra and to the convention came from convention chairman Esther Waters.


State Secretary Elyssa Wagner read a letter from National Regent Helene Shepard congratulating Texas JCDA on the 27th Biennial State Convention. She apologized for not being able to attend. Wagner also read a letter from Governor Greg Abbott sending congratulations and best wishes from he and Mrs. Abbott.


The group then heard words from National Regent Elect Olga Samaniego from El Paso. Mrs. Samaniego brought greetings from National CDA, as well as personal greetings. She shared how proud CDA is of the JCDA and encouraged all members to keep up the wonderful works being done all over the great state of Texas.

The Jette’s (girls 6-10) enjoyed several activities during the morning business session. The young members learned cultural dances and played Bible bingo.


The 2015 JCDA State Convention minutes were approved as corrected and submitted. The 2017 Convention Standing Rules and the printed program were approved.

Chairman of the Bylaws/Resolutions Committee, Allison Alaniz, Court St. Maria Goretti # 2380, Corpus Christi reported on the proposed bylaw amendment to amend the age of junior members to 11-18 and juniorette members to 6-10 to be consistent with age ranges in the national bylaws. The amendment was recommended by the committee. It was then voted on and adopted.

The Credential Report was presented by Chairman Sabrina Wilson, Court Our Lady of Mount Carmel #1993, Edinburg, was later corrected and accepted.


Representing the CDA Texas State Court, State Regent Rosie Stockwell, Court Our Lady of Mount Carmel #1993, Edinburg, 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.


National Director and Youth Chairman Arline Rich shared a message from the National Order of the Catholic Daughters. Mrs. Rich advised the group that she, too, was a JCDA member some years ago. This was the national chairman’s first State JCDA convention. We were happy to have her with us in Texas!


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


State CDA Chaplain Father Greg Labus visited and provided words of encouragement to the group. He reiterated that they should not be afraid to show and share their faith. He complimented the members and courts for all the impressive works being done across Texas.

The assembly was then treated to a pep rally lead by the State CDA officers. “…We are useful, how about you?” … “We love God how about you?”… “2, 4, 6, 8. who do we appreciate—CDA !!! The pep rally was most entertaining and brought everyone to their feet.

“Go CDA!”

The JCDA State Officers presented their Biennial Report recognizing the 11 courts instituted in their term and touching on their state projects – Bluebonnet Youth Ranch Christmas party, Gift of Life Pregnancy Center, the State Retreat and Christmas in June-Make a Child’s Wish Come True.

President Muldrow then moved to the election of officers and opened the floor for nominations for state office.

Having all their paperwork in proper order, the following were nominated and elected by acclamation: First Vice President, Jocilyn Rodriguez, Court Lydia Miller # 2187, Harlingen; Second Vice President, Claire Supak, Court Annunciation # 1962, La Grange; Secretary, Victoria Eastland, Court Our Lady of the Hills # 2415, Round Rock.

Nominated for President was Alyssa Ramirez, Court Immaculate Heart of Mary Living Rosary, # 2540, McAllen and a second nomination which was later withdrawn due to the candidate being ineligible. Nominations for reporter were Sydney Hermann, Court St. Paul # 1604, Shiner and Emily Cook, Court Mother of Divine Grace # 2717, Edinburg.


The JCDA State Officers then presented the State Pin Awards. The “Be Useful” JCDA State Pin represents the pinnacle of the pin program and is a 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 Sophia Kolle Theresa Rodriguez
Ct. St. Paul #1604Shiner Ct. St. Paul #1604Shiner Ct. Lydia Miller #2187
Shiner Shiner Harlingen

(not pictured) Kora Kolle, Ct. St. Paul #1604, Shiner

The “Above and Beyond—Essential Piece” Awards were presented by Co-Chair Peggy Supak to individuals who had made a significant contribution to ensuring a successful State JCDA convention.

State Convention
Chairman Esther Waters

Cindy Novak
Puzzle Maker Extraordinaire

State Regent Rosie Stockwell
State advisor, program ads
designer, savior in a pinch

Terri Beltran
State Secretary
Texas Delegate Signs

Ruben Rodriguez
Security, Matachines, etc.


Before adjourning for the banquet, members from each court were asked to come forward and obtain a puzzle piece. The puzzle pieces contained a photo of one of the courts present, state CDA officers, state JCDA officers, national representatives and state clergy. Once the pieces were distributed, the members were given the task of putting the puzzle together to symbolize that each is an essential piece of the sisterhood of the JCDA.


Mistress of Ceremonies for the Saturday night convention banquet was First Vice State President Rebecca Rodriguez, Court Lydia Miller #2187, Harlingen. State JCDA Chaplain Msgr. John Peters led the meal prayer. Banquet guest was Ava Sandlin, Make A Wish, Rio Grande Valley. She showed a short video on wishes granted and impact on a child’s life. There were not many dry eyes on stage or in the audience. Mrs. Sandlin extended sincere thanks to JCDA and the Junior Catholic Daughters State Officers for their support of the program. She was presented with a check for $5,000 to make a child’s wish come true.

Christmas in June --
Make A Child’s Wish
Come True!


Awards for the Scrapbook Contest were presented by State Reporter Kristian Castro. First she thanked all the courts that sent in a court page to be included in the state scrapbook. Scrapbook winners were: 1st place - Court St. Paul, Shiner; 2nd place - Court Immaculate Heart of Mary #1884, Conroe; 3rd place - Court Annunciation # 1962, La Grange.


National Regent Elect Olga Samaniego was called upon to provide a history of the 1903 Society and provide for the presentation of a perpetual enrollment in the society to a special honoree. Co-Chairs Sheila Martinka and Peggy Supak presented the Perpetual Enrollment to Msgr. John Peters for his 34 years of service as State JCDA Chaplain. Msgr. was provided with a beautiful plaque and pin setting forth his perpetual membership in the Society. He was also presented with an album full of memories, tributes and thank you’s from many of the past CDA State Regents, State Youth Chairmen, Past State JCDA officers and others.

1903 Society

The Outstanding Junior of the Year was presented to Sydney Hermann, Court St. Paul, # 1604, Shiner. 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.

2017 State Outstanding Junior
Sydney Hermann, Ct. St. Paul, Shiner
Congratulations Sydney!

The Saint Elizabeth Anne Seton Award was presented to Marcel Mickunas, Court Queen of the Rosary #2368, McAllen. 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.

Saint Anne Awards were presented to Vivian Wolf, Court Our Lady of Good Counsel, # 309, Wichita Falls for 7 years as court chairman, Diane Hermann, Court St. Paul, # 1604, Shiner for 9 years as court chairman and Cathy Zingelmann, Court Annunciation # 1962, La Grange for 15 years as court 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.

Vivian Wolf Diane Hermann Cathy Zingelmann
7 Years 9 Years 9 Years

The State Officers shared the highlights of their term in office and gave a farewell. Gifts of appreciation were presented to Msgr. John Peters, Ms. Peggy and Ms. Sheila.

The officers were presented with a beach towel to wrap around them, a Fishes and Loaves bracelet to remind them of the convention theme and a Texas shaped “JCDA 2017” charm designed specifically for them.


Before concluding the banquet co-chair Supak called on Cindy Novak and her crew to flip the puzzle of pictures that had been on display since the puzzle was put together in the afternoon to reveal the reverse side. What was revealed was a silhouette of the Lord’s Supper in keeping with the convention theme—“I Am The Bread Of Life.” Supak stated that as much as we are essential pieces of the sisterhood of JCDA we are all children of God and we come together to accept His body and blood to sustain us at every Mass. We fit together as do the pieces of the puzzle according to His plan and to do His works.


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


Before lights out, the girls and adults reassembled in the ballroom for the Divine Mercy Rosary. The lights were dimmed and the awesomeness of the Lord was felt throughout the entire room as the Chaplet was being sung.


The Elections committee led by advisor Linsay Tomlinson prepared the room for elections early Sunday morning while the Credentials committee verified delegates for voting. The delegates were let in and doors were shut for voting for two state officer positions – president and reporter. Once the votes were cast the Elections committee went to another room to tally the votes.

The convention was reconvened by President Muldrow.

The courtesy committee report, registration report and credentials report were given and approved.


The report of the election committee was given and approved. Alyssa Ramirez, Court Immaculate Heart of Mary Living Rosary, # 2540, McAllen was elected State President and Emily Cook, Court Mother of Divine Grace # 2717, Edinburg was elected State Reporter. First Vice President, Jocilyn Rodriguez, Court Lydia Miller # 2187, Harlingen; Second Vice President, Claire Supak, Court Annunciation # 1962, La Grange; and Secretary, Victoria Eastland, Court Our Lady of the Hills # 2415, Round Rock were elected by acclamation on Saturday.


Immediate Past State Regent Eve Trevino provided a message of congratulations and an invitation to those members graduating or to soon be graduating to join a CDA court or Campus Court. She presented each State officer with a certificate of appreciation for all their hard work and accomplishments over their two year terms.


As a way to encourage attendees to visit the phenomenal Veterans’ Memorial just .3 of a mile from the hotel, a Veterans’ Memorial Scavenger Hunt was designed. Those completing the scavenger hunt had the court’s name placed in a drawing for special prizes. The drawing was held with Court Mary St. John, # 2197, Baytown being the first place winner who will receive a U. S. Flag flown over our state capitol on Flag Day, June 14, 2017.

With no further business, Msgr. Peters led a closing prayer and the convention was adjourned.


Seated L-R 2017-2019 State Officers, Secretary Victoria Eastland, First Vice President Jocilyn Rodriguez; President Alyssa Ramirez, Second Vice President Claire Supak; Reporter Emily Cook.

Standing L-R JCDA Co-Chair Sheila Martinka, 2015-2017 JCDA State Officers, Secretary Elyssa Wagner, First Vice President Rebecca Rodriguez , President Alison Muldrow, Second Vice President Emma Greene, Reporter Kristian Castro, JCDA Co-Chair Peggy Supak, JCDA State Chaplain Msgr. John Peters.

State Chaplain Msgr. John Peters was the celebrant for Mass. The Installation of New State Officers was held at the conclusion of the Mass.