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45th Biennial Texas State 2007 Convention

Press Release by Henriette Jalowy, State PR Chairman

"Women of God, be not afraid" was the theme of the 45th Texas state convention of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA) held April 26-29, at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas.

The 2007 convention opened with Mass at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at Santuario de Guadalupe Cathedral. Celebrants were The Most Reverend Armando Ochoa, Bishop of El Paso and Texas State Chaplain, and Most Reverend Charles V. Grahmann, Apostolic Administrator, Diocese of Dallas. Also participating were State Clergy Consultant Reverend Donald Ruppert of East Bernard, Junior Catholic Daughters of the Americas (JCDA) State Chaplain Reverend John Peters of Hallettsville, Priests and Deacons.

The Festival Brass of Dallas provided music for the officers’ procession and Mass with approximately 800 people in attendance.

The 2005-2007 state officers are: Olga Samaniego, State Regent, El Paso; Carolyn Bachmann, First Vice State Regent, Scotland; Sheila Martinka, Second Vice State Regent, Pasadena; Carolyn Malik, State Secretary, Shiner; Peggy Rosales, State Treasurer, Austin. Included in the administration are: Loraine Hilscher, State Parliamentarian, Dallas; Bishop Armando X. Ochoa, Texas State Chaplain, El Paso; Reverend Donald R. Ruppert, State Clergy Consultant, East Bernard; and Rev. John C. Peters, JCDA Chaplain, Hallettsville.

State Regent Olga Samaniego called the convention to order Friday morning. Most Reverend Armando X. Ochoa, State Chaplain, led the opening prayer. He also presented the keynote address. Libby Ramirez, National Regent-Elect of Victoria, brought greetings from the national office in New York.

Samaniego introduced the 22 state chairmen and 54 district deputies who have helped Texas CDA so much the past two years.

Various reports were given. Included were those on Missions of Mercy, Read Across America, Habitat for Humanity, Juarez Mission School, and Bishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation. State JCDA Chairman Tearsa Smesny of Baytown and Catie Wicke of East Bernard, State JCDA president, spoke on behalf of the organization.

Many state chairmen announced awards (certificates) that individual courts throughout Texas received for their accomplishments. Over $28,000 in scholarships was awarded to graduating seniors. Courts and individuals contribute to the State Court Memorial Scholarship Fund.

State Chaplain Most Rev. Armando X. Ochoa was the main celebrant at the Memorial Mass in honor of all the deceased CDA members from the last convention to this convention. District deputies marched in a candlelight procession to the Shrine of the Blessed Mother. They remembered the deceased members in their districts. Ismeal Samaniego, husband of the State Regent, carried a candle for deceased spouses.

Past State Regents participated in the Mass as gift bearers. They are: Margaret Cutbirth, Crosby; Cecina Koeijmans, Dallas; Eunice Perusic, Houston; Amy Rueda, El Paso; Libby Ramirez, Victoria; Duchess Collins, Sugar Land; Immediate Past State Regent Dee Scheetz, Austin. Eleanor Trainer of Houston and Dolly Pena of Laredo were unable to attend.

Attendees were quite festive in their hula skirts and Hawaiian shirts for the Friday Night Luau. They enjoyed learning authentic Hawaiian dances. A limbo contest followed.

Regent Samaniego named these as the Top 5 District Deputies: Elrose Kostak, DD #10, Brookshire; Terrie Vacek, DD #28, East Bernard; Barbara Britton, DD #40, San Antonio; Estela Ramirez, DD #31, Los Fresnos; Eve Trevino, DD #48, Corpus Christi.

Seventeen new CDA courts were instituted during Samaniego’s two-year term. Carolyn Bachmann, Court Development chairman, recognized the district deputies assisting her in the institution of the new courts. East received a pin, the first St. Bernadine of Sienna Award.

State Clergy Consultant Rev. Donald R. Ruppert presented a workshop on Spirituality. Delegates then attended two other workshops on such topics as new members/retention, protocol and ceremonies, "fun"draising, national, state and local projects, JCDA, leadership, circle of love forms, and campus court forum.

Most Reverend Charles V. Grahmann, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dallas, gave the invocation at the Saturday night banquet. State Deputy of the Knights of Columbus, Larry Zapalac of Sugar Land, was a guest and spoke on the many achievements of CDA and the joint efforts of CDA and the Knights of Columbus. Libby Ramirez of the National CDA court also spoke. The guest speaker was humorist Rose Mary Rumley of Dallas.

Regent Samaniego presented State Regent Awards to Rev. Donald Ruppert of East Bernard, Peggy Supak of LaGrange, Carolyn Bachmann of Scotland, Cynthia Novak of LaGrange, and Cathy Bitner of Rosenberg.

The delegation from McAllen invited everyone to the state convention in 2009. The Houston delegation bid on the 2011 state convention.

The closing prayer for the 45th biennial convention of the Catholic Daughters was the Memorari. The closing ode was "My Country Tis of Thee."

Rev. Donald Ruppert was the main celebrant for the Installation Mass Sunday morning. Installed were: Carolyn Bachmann, State Regent, Scotland; Sheila Martinka, First Vice State Regent, Pasadena; Carolyn Malik, Second Vice State Regent, Shiner; Peggy Rosales, State Secretary, Austin; Eve Trevino, State Treasurer, Corpus Christi.

Special events held during the convention were the Chaplains and Men’s luncheon, Past Regents luncheon, and the State Regent’s Thank You luncheon for the State Chairmen and District Deputies.

Convention chairman Joyce Pierce reported that approximately 850 Catholic Daughters registered for the convention.

The Catholic Daughters of the Americas is a non-profit organization for Catholic women over the age of 18 who are interested in doing spiritual, charitable, and educational work. At present, there are 16,012 members in 225 Texas courts.