The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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May 19, 2000 Issue
Local News

CDA selects Appleton woman

Jo Hammen installed as state financial secretary

By Sam Lucero
Superior Catholic Herald

SUPERIOR - Jo Hammen of Appleton was installed as state financial secretary of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas by Superior Bp. Raphael Fliss. Helen Jacobson of Lake Geneva began a two-year term as state regent.

Other newly installed state officers are Evelyn Staszak, first vice regent, Wausau; Mary Robek, second vice regent, Superior; and Gladys Glodoski, treasurer, Stevens Point.

There are about 1,800 Catholic Daughters in Wisconsin who belong to 21 state courts. Although their numbers have declined over the years, "the ones who belong are very faithful," Jacobson said.

The new regent said she plans to continue supporting the state CDA's most worthwhile project: the Priests' Education Fund. Money for the fund is raised by each member donating $1 each year and through a raffle held during the state convention.

Since its founding in 1903, the Catholic Daughters have become the largest organization of Catholic women in the Americas.

The group's mission is "to embrace the principle of 'faith working through love' in the promotion of justice, equality and the advancement of human rights and human dignity for all," the group's handbook says.

In his homily at the convention Mass, Bp. Fliss, state chaplain, noted the state's Catholic bishops issued a statement last year on prison reform.

In addition to prisons of brick and steel, he said, there "are prisons of our own making ... fashioned for all kinds of reasons; maybe fear, maybe guilt, or insecurity."

He noted that Sunday's Gospel talked about Jesus' disciples "huddled in a prison they fashioned out of their own fears. They were probably brooding over the events of the past few days. They were plagued with guilt because they abandoned Jesus at the time of his suffering and death."

But then Jesus appears to them unexpectedly. "With one word he breaks down the walls of their prisons. He brings them peace."

Like the disciples, Bp. Fliss said, "we have been bequeathed with that same spirit, and we know that the spirit that is given to us, that special gift, carries with it obligations - the obligation to do as Jesus has done.... and to bring forgiveness into the world."

Bp. Fliss complimented the Catholic Daughters for incorporating the ideals of the early Christian community into their mission through prayer, days of recollection, retreats, by promoting charity and the intellectual and spiritual development and equality of women.

Noting that the organization is writing its history, Bp. Fliss said, "I'm sure we'll be able to see in there the tremendous contribution you've been for church, for society. It's going to be a prism -- a wide spectrum of light that reflects the light of so many good Catholic women."

"There are scores of women whose lives are too often just unsung and unappreciated," Bp. Fliss said. "Taken together, that total goodness, like yourselves, proclaims the greatness of the Lord and leads ever so many to Christ. I stand here before you and applaud you, celebrate you, and express my sincere appreciation for the myriad ways you have lived out the mission of the church and all of your endeavors."

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