Bishop Dennis Sullivan celebrated Mass on Dec. 7 for the Catholic Daughters of the Americas’ Court Giese No. 439, commemorating their 100th anniversary in Gloucester City and thanking its current and past members for their faith and dedication to the Parish of Saint Mary and the surrounding community.
Founded in 1903 in Utica, New York by the Knights of Columbus as a “charitable, benevolent, and patriotic sorority for Catholic ladies,” the organization was originally known as the National Order of the Daughters of Isabella, dedicated to the principles of Unity and Charity, with the Blessed Mother as their Patroness. It subsequently changed its name to the Catholic Daughters of America, and, later, to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA), reflecting its global reach.
Today, as one of the oldest and largest organizations for Catholic women, the CDA numbers more than 66,000 members in 1,150 courts (local chapters) in 45 states across the U.S., and in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, Kenya and Peru.
In Gloucester City, 64 women first gathered on Dec. 14, 1919 at Saint Mary School Hall. The local court takes its name from Father Charles Giese, a much-loved former pastor of Saint Mary.
Currently meeting once a month, the Daughters engage in spiritual activities and support their neighbors through such initiatives as helping Saint Mary’s prepare Thanksgiving baskets; providing scholarships to Gloucester Catholic High School graduates, and parish religious education families; staying active in pro-life ministry; and starting a prayer chain for ill members.
Membership in the Catholic Daughters of the Americas’ Court Giese No. 439 is open to Catholic women 18 years of age and older. For more information, visit www.cdacourtgiese.org/