The promise to be 'a faithful member who promotes development of self, service to others, and to encourage spiritual growth' is a visually evident pledge of the Junior Catholic Daughters of the Americas (JCDA). Over 300 members, advisors, clergy and guests traveled to the Double Tree Hotel, Austin, Texas for the 24th Biennial JCDA State Convention. Look out Texas drought, these girls are on fire for God; the flames of the Holy Spirit ignite the most amazing acts of service positively changing lives. There are currently seventy (70) JCDA Courts in Texas with 829 members.
To emphasize the convention theme, "Stars of P.E.A.C.E.," the JCDA 2009-2011 State Officers Maya Cuellar, President, Dallas; First Vice President Kimberly Kallies, Deer Park; Second Vice President Sarah Proske, LaGrange; Secretary Valerie Barrera, Lubbock; and Reporter Mary Adamek, Shiner, hosted a talent show for the opening welcome.
The girls and court advisors presented various skits, sang, and literally danced with Love and Peace right into a hula-hoop contest.
- 'Minnie Pearl' - State Regent Carolyn Malik (Shiner)
- 'Rose Petal' - First Vice State Regent Peggy Rosales (Austin)
- 'J Lo' - Second Vice State Regent Eve Trevino (Corpus Christi)
- 'Grace Slick' - State Secretary Rosie Stockwell (Edinburg)
- 'Moon Beam' - Immediate Past State Regent Sheila Martinka (Houston)
First Place winners - Court Annunciation #1962 La Grange
Second Place winners - Court Sacred Heart #829, West
Third Place winners - Court Mary Queen of Peace #2497
Opening Ceremony Color and Honor Guards were from CDA Court Annunciation #1962 La Grange. Austin Diocese Vicar General, Monsignor Mike Sis welcomed the delegation to Austin. Reverend Sis added, “This is a celebration of your heritage and women with leadership skills. It is an opportunity to to develop as Junior Catholic Daughters with multigenerational knowledge, wisdom and faith and as Catholics in your relationship to Jesus.”
Convention business included a report on the charitable events of each JCDA Court, Approval of 2009 convention business; Registration and Credentials; Courtesy; Nominations; and the Election of 2011-2013 state officers. One amendment to the Bylaws was adopted and no resolutions were proposed. Correspondence included a letter from Governor Rick Perry and CDA National Regent Joanne Tomassi. Convention attendees also participated in a Divine Mercy Chaplet, Candlelight Living Rosary, and the Celebration of Mass.
The convention theme and the JCDA threefold program of 'Message, Service and Community' was emphasized by guest speakers throughout the convention.
Reverend John Peters, State JCDA Chaplain, shared the highlights of the past two years inviting members to attend the 2012 JCDA Retreat at his ranch in Halletsville. Fr. John was honored with a slide show presentation showing highlights over the past twenty seven years (27) of his service as JCDA State Chaplain.
Terrie Beltran, JCDA/Youth State Chair, El Campo reported on JCDA' s growth noting that twenty three new courts were installed in this term!
Sheila Martinka, 2009-2011 CDA State Regent, Houston, spoke on discipleship and service with enthusiasm. She invited members graduating from high school to join or develop a Campus Court where their gifts and talents can bridge them in unity and service throughout college and into a senior court.
Carolyn Malik, newly elected 2011-2013 State Regent and former JCDA State Chairman, Shiner, congratulated the junior courts for an outstanding two years of spreading God's peace and love. She emphasized the beauty in good clean fun and reminded them to “turn to Him and let your light shine … Christ invites you daily to Come Be My Light.”
Reverend Bill Wack, CSC, Pastor, St. Ignatius Martyr Parish, Austin, delivered an outstanding three part message in his banquet keynote speech. He used three illustrations; a young girl praying for an x-convict in a cafeteria, the woman in the workplace who invited co-workers to join her serve at the soup kitchen, and he and his own nieces and nephews leaving the stadium following the Pope's presentation. All the illustrations challenged the girls to take every opportunity to “make a difference” for Christ. One person in the first story changed the hearts of an entire restaurant. In the second story, one invitation led employees on every floor of a business building to participate in service from soup kitchens to building homes for Habitat. The third story was a personal example of peace and the strength that comes to each of us when we boldly put our faith first. In the third story, Fr. Wack turned to question an Anti-Catholic protestor. Father's family dropped the sheets of propaganda and the protestor was convicted by God's or Father's love and truth. In closing Father Wack said, “Peace I leave you, just like in our Mass, I send you forth to go out and serve the Lord.”
Others attending were Cecina Kojemans Past State Regent and State Parliamentarian, Dallas; First Vice State Regent Peggy Rosales, Austin; Second Vice State Regent Eve Trevino, Corpus Christi; State Secretary Rosie Stockwell, Edinburg; Past State Regent Carolyn Bachmann, Scotland, and several State Chairman and District Deputies.
Beltran thanked and presented appreciation awards to Rev. John Peters and the outgoing 2009-2011 Stars of Peace JCDA officers.
JCDA delegates met for a caucus following the banquet while adults attended a stress management workshop. The election of new officers Sunday morning was followed by an Installation Mass with Celebrant Rev. John Peters. A bid for the 2013 JCDA Convention came from Court St. Paul #1604, Shiner.
Newly Elected 2011 - 2013 State & JCDA Officers
- JCDA State President - Mary Adamek Court St. Paul #1604, Shiner (not pictured)
- 1st Vice President - Katelyn MartinezCourt Mary Queen of Peace #2497, Floresville
- 2nd Vice President - Jamie OrnelasCourt Mary St. John #2197, Baytown
- Secretary - Holly SoukupCourt Sacred Heart #829, West
JCDA Convention Awards
Newsletter Awards3RD PLACE Ct. St. Elizabeth #1616, Sealy 2ND PLACE Ct. St. Paul #1604, Shiner 1ST PLACE Ct. Our Lady of St. Hyacinth #2361, Deer Park
Scrapbook Awards3RD PLACE Ct. St. Theresa of Lisieux #2211, Sugar Land 2ND PLACE Ct. St. Elizabeth #1616, Sealy 1ST PLACE Ct. St. Paul #1604, Shiner
Membership RetentionGOLD Ct. St. Theresa of Lisieux #2211, Sugar Land SILVER Ct. Our Lady of the Hills #2415, Roundrock BRONZE Ct. St. Elizabeth #1616, Sealy
Outstanding JuniorKaitlyn Morrison, Court Ancillae Maria #1886, Crosby
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton MedalMarcella Sinkule, Ct. Sacred Heart #829, West
St. Ann MedalGinger Kutscherousky, Ct. Sacred Heart #829, West
Door Decorating Contest3RD PLACE Ct. Enrique San Pedro #2390 San Benito 2ND PLACE Ct. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel #1919 Edingburg 1ST PLACE Ct. St. Bernadette #1108 East Bernard
Awards Of Appreciation
Many thanks go out to members of the convention host court, Court Annunciation # 1962, La Grange Cathy Zingelmann and Peggy Supak - Chairmen
Past State JCDA Officers were recognized with a gift of appreciation – Willow Tree Angels
State JCDA President Mary Adamek receives an award of appreciation. Mary was unable to attend the Installation Mass due to a death in her family.
State JCDA Chairman Terri Beltran made a PEACE Blanket as an appreciation gift for each 2009-11 State Officer.