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."