Back to Top


(Left click on the
picture to enlarge)

52nd Biennial National 2008 Convention

by Terrie Vacek, Texas Public Relations Chair

Ramirez (Victoria) & Collins (Sugar Land)

Seated- Peggy Rosales, State Secretary, Austin; Olga Samaniego, Immediate Past State Regent, El Paso; Standing- Libby Ramirez, National Regent, Victoria; Eve Trevino, State Treasurer, Corpus Christi; Sheila Martinka, 1st Vice State Regent, Pasadena; Carolyn Malik, 2nd Vice State Regent, Shiner; Carolyn Bachmann, State Regent, Scotland; Duchess Collins, National Director, Sugar Land.

Clergy, Delegates, Alternates and Guests from 160 Courts throughout Texas gathered in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Catholic Daughters of the Americas 52nd Biennial National Convention held July 16th through the 19th, 2008. Members of Texas Campus Courts and JCDA were also in attendance.

The record-breaking number of almost 1200 delegates, members, and guests was so large that convention attendees had to be seated theater style. The Texas delegation spanned three rows deep from side wall to side wall with alternates and guests seated in the rear of the room.

The native Matachine dance honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe opened the convention along with the Crowning of Mary ceremony followed by a Living Rosary led by National Clergy Consultant Reverend Michael Schommer. In his opening remarks, Father Schommer called the convention a "time of Grace" adding that "CDA is the Cream of the Crop!"

Claudia Bosch, National Regent 2006-2008 thanked the 23 members of the clergy who were in attendance for their support of CDA stating, "You are our lifeline." Opening keynote speaker 2006-2008 National Chaplain, Reverend Monsignor Gerald J. Walsh stated, "Do whatever God leads you to do… Never underestimate your collective power." Walsh concluded with, "I love being a priest and being here with the Catholic Daughters at the same time the Holy Father is at World Youth Day."

Throughout the convention each speech emphasized one common theme "recruitment of new members is a priority for every Catholic Daughter." The convention offered delegates and alternates six Seminar Workshops: Legislation, Spirituality, Leadership, Development of New Courts, Youth/JCDA and Project Handclasp.

Bachmann, 1st Place Newsletter award

Bachmann & Samaniego with 1st Place New Court Award

On behalf all Texas Catholic Daughters, State Regent, Carolyn Bachmann of Scotland, Texas accepted the 1st Place Award for Instituting seven New Courts; 1st Place award in recognition for the State with net membership gains, Category IV; 1st Place State Newsletter, Category II, Division I. The top three states were awarded certificates for outstanding work in the seven Circle of Love Programs. Texas was recognized in five of the Programs: Leadership, Spiritual Enhancement, National Projects, Education, and 1st Place in Youth Category IV.

$25,000.00 Donation to Smile Train by Claudia Bosch.

Congratulations ladies! Texas CDA members donated $59,977.39 to the National Charitable Projects in the 2006-2008 term which represents the largest amount of CDA Charitable Donations by any state in the nation. Bachmann stated, "I am so proud of our ladies in Texas for all their hard work and service."

The order of business for the National Convention is to review Resolutions and the proposed Amendments to the Bylaws. Thirteen of the sixteen (out of 51) amendments presented to the delegation passed. Eight of the ten (out of 23) resolutions presented to the delegation passed. Local Regents throughout Texas will receive a post convention packet with convention minutes including a copy of all the action taken on resolutions and amendments. This information is to be shared with the entire Local Court membership. Numerous Texans serving as National Chairs gave reports.

The election of the 2008-2010 National Officers and Directors was held Thursday morning with 639 voting delegates. The National Board was installed during the Instillation Mass held on Saturday, June 19, at the Immaculate Conception Church of Albuquerque with Most Reverend Michael Sheehan, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe as celebrant. 2008-2010 National Clergy Consultant Reverend Donald Ruppert of East Bernard, Texas, presented pins to the new board. National Regent Claudia Bosch presented the newly installed board to the congregation with Past National Regent M. Joan McKenna giving each a red rose.

2008-2010 National Board

The newly installed National Directors are Helen Arndorfer; Duchess Collins; Maryann Grabasky; Janet Martineau; Lois Nelson; Evelyn Saxton; Helene Shepard; and Lorayne Zimmerman. The new National Officers are National Secretary/Treasurer, Theresa Kocer; Second Vice National Regent, Shirley Seyfried; First Vice National Regent, Anne Nelson; National Regent Elect, Joanne Tomassi, and National Regent Libby Ramirez. The new National Chaplain, the Most Reverend Bishop David Fellhauer of the Victoria Diocese presented Libby Ramirez., from Victoria Texas with her National Regent’s pin. Carolyn Bachmann was elected to the 2010 National Nominating Committee.

TX State Court- Carolyn Malik, 2nd Vice State Regent, Shiner; Sheila Martinka, 1st Vice State Regent, Pasadena; Carolyn Bachmann, State Regent, Scotland; Libby Ramirez, National Regent, Victoria; Peggy Rosales, State Secretary, Austin; Eve Trevino, State Treasurer, Corpus Christi.

Wednesday evening clergy, delegates, alternates, and convention guests enjoyed campaign night with a pizza buffet. Thursday evening 184 Texans, filling four chartered busses, enjoyed a traditional New Mexico dinner at El Pinto, the largest restaurant in New Mexico. Friday evening convention attendees came together to celebrate the culture of New Mexico and the native traditions including a grand march, the table side Mariachi band, and a wonderful Mexican buffet at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The overwhelming response to the call to convention forced the use of two ballrooms for the Saturday night Appreciation Banquet steak dinner. The program was shown on overhead video screens in both ballrooms.

Through their love of CDA and their support of Women of Faith, the various clergy shared daily prayer services and/or Mass and consistently reminded members that when we all "bring our gifts and talents to the table in unity, charity, and service, we are not only beautiful women of faith, but a dynamic bouquet." With the support of our Chaplains and Clergy Consultants the Catholic Daughters of the Americas experience success in and through their charitable service both in volume and content. From the National and State Court to the Local Courts, CDA is a strong order and will continue to serve God, our Country, and our Brothers and Sisters with dignity and grace for we are "Women Embracing the Gift of All Humanity" and "Together we are strong!"

Bishop Fellhauer presents Ramirez with National Regents pin with Rev. Schommer and Rev. Ruppert assisting.

Ruppert & Ramirez- Support & Celebration

From her talk delivered at the Appreciation Banquet on Saturday night, Libby Ramirez said, "No one knows the road the Lord has picked for us to travel but Him. Sometimes we think the road gets entirely too bumpy but He sees us through if we just listen and hear what he has to say rather than what we want to hear.

This journey has been very exciting and sometimes some unexpected things happen, but here we are. My years on the State and National Board have been a learning experience for me. I stand on the shoulders of some very strong and knowledgeable giants in the Catholic Daughters of the Americas as I take my role as National Regent.

No one gets to where they are today without help from someone and definitely not without the help of the Lord and Our Blessed Mother. The theme for the next two years calls us to enhance our spirituality: ‘For in Him we live, and move and have our being. Acts 17:28.’ I am honored to be serving as National Regent of one of the largest Catholic Women’s organization and I look forward to serving this two year term."

For more information about the Catholic Daughters and the National Convention please go to the national site at