Vermont State Court /Catholic Daughters of the Americas


Catholic Daughters, (C.D.A) one of St. Albans oldest Catholic organizations, celebrated the monumental event on Sunday, May 22nd. Members attended Mass at St. Mary’s church and a banquet followed with fifty members in attendance. The 100th celebration was dedicated to Rev. Bernard Bechard, Chaplain for C.D.A. from 1981 until his passing in 2010. Fr. Bechard was a dedicated and much loved Chaplain for 29 years.

 Members enjoyed appetizers & beverages followed by a catered meal. Patricia Wilder, Regent of the Catholic Daughters, welcomed guests and introduced the head table. Three State officers attended and a message was read from immediate Past State Regent Lorraine Durfee. Scrapbooks and a slide show were available throughout. The Court’s history was read by: Rachel Smith the years 1920-1945;Susan Bressette, 1945-1970; Judy Smith, 1970-1995; and Katrina Sharp, 1995-2020.

The First 25 years of history for the Catholic Daughters’ recall the years from 1920-1945. Woodrow Wilson was President and World War 1 was just over, radio broadcasting was in its first year and the 19th Amendment became law giving women the right to vote. Annie Driscoll was Regent as forty nine women were received into Court St. Mary #468. The charter and photo taken of the first officers and other items are on display in the St. Albans museum.

Through the years 1945-1970. C.D.A. held their meetings over the Wm. Doolin store on Main Street. C.D.A.’s twenty fifth Anniversary was held at the Jesse Welden Inn commemorating the Catholic Daughters’ service to our churches and communities. The guests were entertained by the Von Trapp Family singers. This celebration was postponed a couple of times due to the second World War’s restrictions on food. During those next twenty five years St. Albans elected a woman Mayor and Vermont elected a woman Governor.

In 1970 the Court St. Mary #468 celebrated fifty years at the Owl Club with Ann Bushey as Regent. We were graced with four chartered members in attendance, Winnie Barnes, Theresa Sullivan, Kathleen Hurley and Mabel McGinn. In 1980 C.D.A. celebrated 60 years of service and were joined by two chartered members, Winnie Barnes & Kathleen Hurley. Cecile Leduc was Regent at that time. Winnie Barnes celebrated her 100th birthday with her sisters and she passed in 1995. C.D.A.’s 75th took place at Dylan’s Restaurant with Regent Mary Lou Zakrzwski.

In 2019 the covid virus hit interrupting twice C.D.A.’s plans to celebrate their 100th year of Unity & Charity.

In closing, everyone enjoyed the celebration of this event and a good time was had by all.

The Catholic Daughters is the oldest National Catholic woman’s organization in the world. We are dedicated to strengthening our spiritual life through Christ and His Church. We were founded in 1903 by the Knights of Columbus, and we strive to live up to our Motto “Unity & Charity.”

C.D.A. engages in creative and spiritual programs called the “Circle of Love” program. These seven points are Leadership, Spiritual Enhancement, Quality of Life, Youth, Education, Legislation & Charitable Projects. This program itemizes these needs with suggestions on how Catholic Daughters can effectively serve others. C.D.A. has members from many area churches & towns. It is a blessing to be a Catholic Daughter and we invite Catholic women who want to participate in social and charitable events or wish more information, to call Judy Smith at 524-4467 or Sue Bressette at 524-5451

See Photo Gallery for photos taken during the celebration.





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