The Catholic Daughters was founded in 1903 by the Knights of Columbus in Utica, New York. The daughters are presently organized in 41 states as well as Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Mexico, and Guam.
The organization is made up of Catholic lay and religious women, 18 years or older, who love and support the Church and wish to participate in social and charitable activities.
There is a long list of projects particular to the CDA, including but not limited to, enhancing members' spiritual lives, supporting opportunities to serve the youth, and assisting those in need. Members, through their local courts, may assist the CDA on a national level; with Habitat for Humanity and Right to Life activities.
Court Blessed Mother of Teresa promotes the Right to Life by praying the Pro-Life Rosary for all lives, especially the unborn and elderly. The rosary is prayed on the First Saturday of every month at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in downtown New Iberia. The group also participates in the annual Baby Bottle Campaign to assist the local Unplanned Pregnancy Center, a local endeavor to promote the value of life of the unborn.
The court also collects items to assist unwed mothers, as well as teachers. The spirituality of members is promoted by Mass for members. The religious living at Consolata Nursing Home are remembered on special holidays or when the need for reaching out to residents exists.
A major endeavor to foster devotion and participate in a Catholic tradition is achieved by sponsoring the St. Joseph Altar in March. Members collect food items in accordance with Sicilian tradition and spend time in fellowship by working together on the construction of the altar. The members of the community learn the meaning of the traditions and join in prayer for the Intercession of St. Joseph, thus promoting our virtues of unity and charity because food items from the altar are shared with the needy.
A national guide to projects is found in the Circle of Love, which is a guide to proposed activities and goals. The circle is made up of seven points which indicate the needs of the Church and community best served by the Catholic Daughters. Life, Youth, Legislation, Education, Spiritual, Leadership, and Projects are seven points. For example, Court Blessed Mother Teresa recently adopted the project of improving the condition of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, a site of Pro-Life rosaries and individual prayer for the community at large. The court has special committees to oversee the projects of the Rosary, Pro-Life, Empathy, and Circle of Love. At meetings, members strive to grow in their faith by listening to a report on current Church teachings and significant aspects of our faith, such as the lives of the saints and feast days.
In 2020, the court assisted in the purchase of vestments for priests and servers. The Court regularly responds to the call for help from those in need, such as victims of hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Members participate in the parish Bereavement Committee by contributing to food and drinks for the families of deceased parish members.
These are a few projects that keep the court active throughout the year. Participation fosters fellowship and unity, as members learn to appreciate the gifts and talents of one another. Members meet on the second Monday of each month, except June, July, and December.
Members are dedicated to our patroness, the Blessed Mother, CDA has an emblem, the Cross, and the Crown, which symbolizes the reward Christ promised to His faithful. Thus, we strive to be Spirit-filled women.
For more information, refer to catholicdaughters.org, or call 212-877-3014. For more local information, call Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish at 337-365-5481 for a reference to a local officer.