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February 5, 2018   •   VOL. 56, NO. 3   •   Oakland, CA
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Leaders of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, from left, Dorothy Burian, district deputy, Church of the Good Shepherd; Pat Fegan, regent, St. Francis of Assisi Parish; Mary Bernard, first vice state regent, Los Angeles; Tess Chiampas, second vice state regent, St. Raymond Parish; Nita Volker, district deputy, St. Raymond Parish; and Maureen Laubacher, financial secretary, St. Raymond Parish met with Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, who thanked them for their donations. In the foreground is Reina Whitney, founder of the Court of St. Raymond at St. Raymond Parish.
MICHELE JURICH/THE CATHOLIC VOICE

Catholic Daughters make gift to bishop

The motto of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas is unity and charity.

They demonstrated both in a recent visit with Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ.

The organization, founded in 1903, supports the clergy, encourages vocations, participates in pro-life activities, offers scholarships, promotes patriotism and makes a difference by supporting community organizations.

The California Daughters had owned and operated a retirement residence in Monterey County for five decades. It was sold to a senior living organization in 2016. The statewide organization put the proceeds to work in various ways, said Mary Bernard, first vice state regent. Recipients of gifts included the City of Hope, East Bay Innovations, which helps disabled people find employment; EWTN, the Catholic broadcasting company; Habitat for Humanity; Lazarus House; St. Jude Children's Hospital; and the Gary Sinese Foundation, which works with wounded veterans.

The 78 local organizations — "courts" to Catholic Daughters — received a share of the proceeds to give to organizations in their own communities.

A portion was given to the dioceses of California.

The two state officers and five local representatives dressed in colorful robes who came to see Bishop Barber on Jan. 25 were the bearers of good news: The Catholic Daughters were giving the bishop $100,000, and an additional $50,000 for vocations.

The organization knows firsthand the value of encouraging vocations with their sponsorship.

"A seminarian we sponsored is now our pastor," Reina Whitney, who founded the Court of St. Raymond at St. Raymond Parish in Dublin, told the bishop. That pastor is Rev. Lawrence D'Anjou.

"Thank you for your generosity," Bishop Barber told his visitors.

He filled the group in on the promising progress of the diocese's vocations program, including a discernment group for young men that meets monthly as they consider entering the seminary.

"Thank you for your support," he said. "That's how I can pay their tuition, room and board and insurance.

"I really appreciate your kindness to our diocese and to the young fellows studying to be priests."

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