Altoona Parishes | Altoona-Johnstown Diocese | Charter Members | Education and Education Contest | Fundraisers | Marian Mass Schedule | Meetings | Newsletters | Our Patron | Service Projects | Spiritual Enhancement | Standing Calendar | Youth
Purpose and Mission
The purpose of the organization is to participate in the religious, charitable, and educational Apostolates of the Church. Catholic Daughters of the Americas engages in creative and spiritual programs which provide its members with the opportunity to develop their God-given talents in meaningful ways that positively influence the welfare of the Church and all people throughout the world.
Catholic Daughters of the Americas strives 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.
Our primary focus is
Spirituality and Service!
Locally — Serving all 11 Altoona Catholic parishes, we work in Unity and Charity, our motto, to serve all God's people within our reach and beyond, acting as living witnesses to fulfilling the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
In Our Diocese — We support our diocese, education, pro-life programs, and support each other's court.
In Our State — We provide prayerfully and financially for our state projects, focusing on promoting pro-life in our state and beyond.
Nationally — We have five special projects and 10 special charities and we follow the Circle of Love program, promoting Education, Family, Leadership, Legislation, Quality of Life, Spiritual Enhancement, and Youth/JCDA (Junior Catholic Daughters of the Americas).
Marian Feast Day Mass Schedule
The Masses are being offered for All God's People.
- Sunday, January 16, 2022 12:00 Noon. At Sacred Heart for the Feast of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, whose feast day actually is January 8th.
- Saturday, February 5, 2022 4:00 PM / Rosary will be said at 3:00 PM At Saint Mary's Immaculate Conception in anticipation of the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
- Friday, March 25, 2022 at 8:00 AM At Saint Mark for the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord.
- Sunday, April 17, 2022 is Easter Sunday — We have no Mass scheduled the month of April.
- Friday, May 13, 2022, 8:30 AM At Saint Rose of Lima for the Feast of the Our Lady of Fatima.
- Monday, June 27, 2022, 8:00 AM At Our Lady of Lourdes for Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
- Saturday, July 16, 2022, 5:00 PM At Saint Therese of the Child Jesus for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
- Sunday, August 21, 2022, 11:30 AM At Our Lady of Fatima in anticipation of the Feast of the Queenship of Mary and our 13th anniversary. (8/8/22: Time corrected from what was previously posted.)
- Thursday, September 15, 2022, 8:00 AM At Holy Rosary for the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.
- Tuesday, October 11, 2022, 7:00 PM At Our Lady of Mount Carmel, for the Feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- Sunday, November 27, 2022, 11:00 AM At Saint John the Evangelist for the Feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and the first Sunday of Advent.
- Saturday, December 10, 2022, 5:00 PM At the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament for the Feast of Our Lady of Loretto.
Officers and members are encouraged to submit an article and/or image of interest for the next newsletter.
Submissions are due to Pattie, via email, by May 15, August 29, November 7, February 15. Submissions can include a Circle of Love report, national, state, or local court news, pictures, prayers, recipes, helpful hints, word games, puzzles, points to ponder, ...
We welcome any Catholic lady, at least 18 years of age, interested in furthering their spiritual and social life in our community, to come and join us.
Membership business meetings are open to all members and non-members may attend up to three business meetings while they decide if they would like to join.
Business Meeting Schedule
- Second Monday of the month
- 6:30 PM social
- 7:00 PM business meeting
- Saint Rose of Lima Social Hall — enter through the automatic sliding doors, which are off of the 56th Street entrance, between the Maria Parish Center and the school.
- 56th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues), Altoona, Pennsylvania 16602
- No meeting in January
- No meeting in July
Come and see the works of God, awesome in deeds before the children of Adam.
Psalms 66:5 (NABRE)
Standing Court Calendar
See our list of upcoming events!
- Monthly (third Sunday): Spiritual Intentions Mass a State Court fundraiser (benefiting seminarians at the Pontifical College in Rome) held in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
- March: Even years elect Nominating Committee
- April: Financial Review; even years Nominating Committee presents slate of officers; even years Regent has notice of election with slate of officers sent to all members (at least ten (10) days before election; odd years State Convention; and, Diocesan Meeting
- May: Even years election of officers
- June: Even years installation of officers and Priest Appreciation Day (first Sunday)
- July: Even years National Convention
- September: Even years State Workshop and Diocesan Meeting
- October: Financial Review and CDA Sunday (third Sunday)
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
"Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?"
"Here I am," I said; "send me!"
Isaiah 6:8 (NABRE)
Our court welcomes members from 11 parishes throughout the Altoona area, who are in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, including: The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament |Holy Rosary| Our Lady of Fatima | Our Lady of Lourdes | Our Lady of Mount Carmel | Sacred Heart | Saint John the Evangelist, Lakemont | Saint Mark | Saint Mary (Immaculate Conception) | Saint Rose of Lima | and Saint Therese the Child of Jesus.
Our Court Patron
Servant of God
Apostle of the Alleghenies
Prince Demetrius Gallitzin
Prince Gallitzin was born December 22, 1770 at The Hague and died in Loretto, Pennsylvania on May 6, 1840. His life is one of service to God and His people. It is written that Prince Gallitzin was the first priest to receive all of his orders in preparation for the priesthood in the United States.
Spiritual Enhancement Program
Pray in Order to Believe,
Believe in Order to Pray
—United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, p. 490
Spiritual Enhancement is a part of our national Circle of Love program. At the 2016 — 56th National Convention our court was one of two courts to receive a Spiritual Enhancement award from over 1,250 courts nation-wide. Our project was titled, "Year of Mercy Pledge"
Our projects goal was to bring the Year of Mercy into our daily lives, giving us an opportunity to serve in living witness to the Pope's ultimate plan for us that year — to be "Merciful like the Father." Our entire court was invited to participate; about 60% returned a pledge card. The impact was positive. This project brought with it an opportunity to revisit the Works of Mercy and to personally identify with them, with the Church's plan, and with God's plan for our future. Please, keep in mind, although some didn't return a pledge card, it didn't mean they did not participate, they just did so a bit more introspectively.
In December 2015 and January 2016 booklets were distributed with the Corporal Works of Mercy and the Spiritual Works of Mercy respectively. In January we also distributed a pledge card asking the question, "What can I do this year ..."? One side of the pledge card was for the Spiritual Works of Mercy, the other was for the Corporal Works of Mercy. Our membership was asked to spend some contemplative time at home reading the booklets as they focused on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and what they might like to pledge to do for the coming year. They were to write their intentions on each side of the card and return it in February. At our February meeting, anyone who wished to share their intentions with the court was invited to do so. Then, they copied their intentions from one card to another, placing one card in an envelope with their name on it and sealing it, keeping the other as a reminder of their personal intentions. The sealed envelopes were placed at the feet of Mary (the shrine we set up for each meeting). At each meeting, during the opening and closing prayers, we remembered and prayed for the intentions placed on Mary's shrine. In December 2016, after the close of the Year of Mercy, the unopened pledge card was returned to everyone.
Saturday, October 11, 2014 we traveled by bus to Baltimore to visit and tour America's First Cathedral, an art museum, and enjoy a meal together.
In 2014 we began collecting prayers for a book. In September 2015 it finally came to fruition! Thank you, everyone, for sharing with us! There are Marian and Traditional prayers; Numbers (Commandments, Sacraments, Virtues,…) and Prose; CDA and Calendars; and, information on area parishes. In the back of the yearbook/prayerbook there are two pockets. The one to the far back is empty and the first one holds nine enclosures: Spiritual Enhancement, You're Invited to Join Us!, and 1903 Society CDA brochures; a Spiritual Enrollment card; a Rosary CD; Prayer and Daily Habits brochures; a prayer card that was inserted into the Christmas cards for the servicemen; and, two Dynamic Catholic Prayer Process cards, one to keep and one to share.
A few times we've attend Mass in the Crypt at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament during the month of November. Afterward we had breakfast at Tom and Joe's; then, we delivered items we collected from the Altoona parishes to the Altoona Humane Society.
Monthly, as of October 2020, we have prayed 101 novenas together. During our court business meetings, members of the spiritual enhancement team have offered mini presentations to the membership. To name a few, we've learned about the Scriptural Rosary, Our Lady of Sorrows, and Padre Pia. In 2015-2016 our focus was on the Year of Mercy. A focal point for 2018 and 2019 is prayer. Fr. Grimme, our court chaplain, along with Pattie, spiritual enhancement chair provided the court with another way of praying the "Our Father" or any prayer for that matter. In conversation format, Fr. Grimme portayed our Lord, God, the Father, while Pattie prayed to and with Him, saying the "Lord's Prayer." Prayer, in conversation format, between the person praying, to and with, our Lord, God, a Saint, or our patroness, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and so on ... brings home the trueness of one's inner self, of one's heart.
As a court we've gone to Saint Catherine of Siena's Birth of Mary celebration, celebrating the birth of Mary with a meal, visiting the various displays, saying the Rosary, and Mass with members of our local community and our mother court, Our Lady of the Alleghenies #1755.
We have had Advent Projects with members of our court making and delivering Christmas gifts (see our newsletters for pictures) to residents at local nursing homes. We have also helped to decorate their tree, halls, and common areas. God-willing, we will be able to continue with projects like this, in the years to come.
Members made 100 patriotic rosaries for our 2018 Patriotic Rosary. In 2019 we also made 25 knotted rosaries for the First Communion class at Mount Carmel and 18 for the Confirmation class at Saint Rose of Lima.
Winter 2016, hosted by our court and presented by the Carmelite Community of the Word, we joined together for our first retreat, beginning with Mass at 8:00 AM at Saint Therese the Child Jesus and from there we traveled to the Carmelite Community of the Word Campus. Throughout the morning and afternoon our focus was on the Year of Mercy with time for prayer and contemplation and personal expression. The sisters provided a delicious breakfast and lunch.
In the spring of 2017 we once again visited the Carmelite Community of the Word for a court retreat; we invited women from local parishes to join us.
In the fall of 2018 we hosted a retreat for Catholic women from Altoona parishes at Saint Bernadines Monastery - Hollidaysburg. The day began with Mass at the Monastery and included a delicious lunch. The topic was, "Joy, Having a Joyful Spirit."
Annual Global Rosary Relay for Priests
Held annually on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we're uniting together, praying the Rosary, to help encircle the world in prayer for the sanctification of priests.
The 12th Annual Global Rosary Relay for Priests was held on Friday, June 11, 2021, at Saint John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Altoona, Pennsylvania. We began with a quiet, prayerful gathering at 5:15 PM and the Rosary began at 5:45 PM. As with previous years, this year's event was in conjunction with Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception USA, Washington, D.C., meditating on the Glorious Mysteries.
It is with a grateful heart that we thank:
- Monsignor Michael Becker and the parish staff for the use of Saint John's as our local Rosary relay site.
- All of our participants, some of whom did not stay for the photo below, and for those who prayed from home.
- Our local parishes and diocese for promoting this event.
- And last, but surely not least, Worldpriest, for all of their love, devotion, and tireless effort in bringing this grand idea forward and making it a reality—for 12 years and counting!
My sincere gratitude goes out to the committee: Mary K., Karen C., Donna, and Carol for their tireless efforts. Mary K. also led us in the Rosary.
Much love to all!
The Mary statue in the image below was a birthday gift to me from my husband, Joe. It is now a third-class relic of the incorrupt heart of Saint Jean Marie Vianney, from when the Knights of Columbus brought it to Altoona on January 31, 2019.
Next year's Annual Global Rosary Relay for Priests will be held on Friday, June 24, 2022, at Saint John the Evangelist Church in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
The 11th Annual Global Rosary Relay for Priests, planned for Friday, June 19, 2020 became a virtual event, due to Covid-19; Zoom opened at 5:40 PM and the Rosary began at 6:00 PM via a Zoom connection. Learn more here about this joint initiative to pray for the intentions of Pope Francis on Global Rosary Relay Day 19 June 2020.
Visit Youtube for a video of the Annual Global Rosary Relay of 2020.
The 10th Annual Global Rosary Relay for Priests was on Friday, June 28, 2019. This is a program offered by World Priest. The Mary statue in the images below was a birthday gift to me from my husband, Joe. It is now a third class relic of the incorrupt heart of Saint Jean Marie Vianney, from when the Knights of Columbus brought it to Altoona on January 31, 2019.
Where Does Prayer Come From?
In naming the source of prayer, Scripture speaks sometimes of the soul or the spirit, but most often of the heart (more than a thousand times). According to Scripture, it is the heart that prays. If your heart is far from God, the words of prayer are in vain (CCC, no. 2562.)
"Joy is the Fruit of Appreciation!"
—Matthew Kelly, Taken from Mustard Seeds
Our service projects encompass many of our national Circle of Love programs, such as Education, Family, Quality of Life, Spiritual Enhancement, and Youth.
Since 2009, giving living witness to the Bible verse, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:40 (NABRE), we participated in a multitude of service projects, to name just a few, ...
Our first project was Haiti birthing kits, which have now been replaced with Haiti maternity kits. The Carmelite Community of the Word ships containers regularly to Haiti and these kits serve two purposes: they benefit the women and children in Haiti with their contents and they help to pad and fill the gaps between the other items in the containers.
Our court has held drives for Catholic Charities and other non-profit organizations for personal care items, home cleaning supplies, coats, socks, shoes, under garments, baby essentials, and monetary donations. Today, June 28, 2021, our most recent drive is for summertime footwear.
Donated by Altoona parishioners, Court #2625 collected 73 adult coats, along with gloves and scarves and two dozen sweaters for the men and women Catholic Charities of the Altoona-Johnstown serve. The ladies picked them up at various churches, homes, or businesses, and sorted through them. The coats were all in excellent condition; we only needed to make a few button repairs! A few were brand new or came directly from the dry-cleaner. Seventy-three people were warmer that winter because of the support and generosity of Altoona's parish community! Our court thanks all the Altoona parishes (and their parishioners) for helping with this adult coat drive!
Catholic Charities and those they serve are most appreciative! Thank you to all who donated!
First Coat Delivery Standing above left to right: Pattie, project chair, Mary K., Regina, Donna
Second Coat Delivery Standing above left to right: Pattie, project chair, Annette, Regina, Judy, Donna, Mary K., and Karen C.
Luncheon between the Membership Drive Meeting and the Catholic Charities Coat Drive Prep
In October 2018 we gathered together, in Unity and Charity, to prepare for our upcoming membership drive at many of the local Altoona area Churches. We shared fellowship and fun, visiting with one another during a luncheon and then completed the day by sorting through the second batch of adult winter coats, sweaters, gloves, and scarves. Together we took them to Catholic Charities, where they will be distributed to those in need.
Left to right: Annette, Mary K. membership chair, Donna, Pattie, Judy, Karen C., and Regina
In 2015 we began signing Christmas cards for soldiers; since then, we have signed over 1600 Christmas cards for US soldiers at home and overseas and those who are in nursing homes or are homebound. We also address Christmas cards to family and friends of court members who would appreciate the contact. Our first year was interesting — we signed cards in the morning on a warm August day and then went to Bell Manion Bed and Breakfast (Tea House) for lunch! Everyone had a great time!
August 12, 2016 we repeated our tradition and after signing Christmas cards we drove to Martinsburg and went to Traditions for a luncheon!
In October 2017 we again signed Christmas cards and followed up with a luncheon at Perkins.
On November 11, 2018 we signed Christmas cards and thank you cards; a luncheon was held at Pattie's.
October 26, 2019 we signed Christmas cards for our military, area shut-ins, nursing homes, and friends/family of court members. We aslo signed Christmas cards and thank you cards for local parishes and businesses.
The past several years we've hosted a Christmas party with Kids' First, a local child care center, complete with Christmas trees, decorations, snacks, and beverages, providing Christmas presents of warm winter coats, hats, gloves, and clothing; blankets; and, toys for several children. Additionally, the parents are treated to gifts and all the fixings for a Christmas dinner for everyone in their family!
Court #2625 joined in with Our Lady of Fatima parishioners and went Christmas caroling at an area nursing home.
A Christmas celebration was held with members, their families, and Fr. Grimme, court chaplain, when we participated in the Simpson-Temple United Parish Love Feast, feeding those in need a full, sit-down meal, served from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on December 27, 2014. That day we served 77 people a homemade meal of tossed salad, roll, butter, lasagna, sweet Italian sausage, meatball, and holiday baked goods for dessert, along with hot and cold beverages.
On June 13, 2015, in honor of Flag Day, members, their families, and Fr. Grimme, court chaplain, served 100 people a homemade meal of tossed salad, roll, butter, cornflake crumb chicken tenderloins, potato salad, corn, and a choice of cherry, apple, or blueberry pie.
And, with a Salute to Veterans, on November 12, 2016, court members, their family and friends, along with Fr. Grimme, court chaplain, with the assistance of Christian Family Movement members, their families, and Fr. Carl Spishak, their chaplain, we served 135 people a homemade meal of tossed salad, roll, butter, stuffed shells, sweet Italian sausage, meatball, and a choice of cherry, apple, or blueberry pie.
In 2017 we held our first baby shower benefitting children and their families from both Catholic Charites and Kids First. Parishioners from our 11 local parishes donated baby items from April 23, 2017 through May 14, 2017. Court members gift wrapped the items and presented them to Catholic Charities and Kids First during the June 12th membership meeting.
At our July 9, 2018 meeting, our second baby shower, we again presented donations received from Altoona area parishioners to Catholic Charities and Kids First.
2018 Baby Shower standing left to right front row: Amber Brick, LCSW, Clinical Director of Intensive Family Services, Kids First Early Learning Center; Jennifer, project chair; Jean Johnstone, Executive Director, Catholic Charities
Standing left to right back row: Darlene, Regina, Karen C. Annette, Mary K., Donna, Mary S., Judy, Karen W., Pattie, Fr. Grimme, Mary Grace
Our court has sponsored a book-bag projects for children less fortunate, providing the book-bag and all of the supplies they should need to give them a good start at school! This year we provided for 18 children!
Locally we've given cash donations to the Humane Society, Birth Right, Saint Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen, and Catholic Charities.
2020 — Make a Difference Day
Our court's Make a Difference Day project for 2020 was to thank our Catholic Daughters sisters in faith, including our own members; the Altoona-Johnstown diocesan employees; our court's parish priests, deacons, secretaries, and staff; and, members of other charitable organizations in our Altoona community, by sending them a message of thanks, for all they do, to make a difference in the lives of others!
Prayer to Mary to Help Those in Need
help those in need,
give strength to the weak,
comfort the sorrowful,
pray for God's people,
assist the clergy,
intercede for religious.
May all who seek your help experience your unfailing protection.
All About Mary
The 2023 Education Contest
The themes are: "We walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7 —or— When do I have to lean on my faith more than sight.?
The first eight years our court was in existence, our Education Circle of Love program sponsored the national education contest. Our National Court defines the time-line, theme, and winning criteria. Our judges select the first three winners in each category and division from the submissions received. First place winners are entered into the state contest. The first place winners of the state contest move on to national. Winners at all three levels (local, state, and national) are awarded a monetary gift. We've had a few place first at state and go on to national.
After the contest our court hosted an awards ceremony for the winners, their families, and the various clergy and support staff of our participating parochial schools and parish religious education programs.
Three winners are named. The first and second place winning participant receives a certificate and cash award and everyone receives a treat bag filled with give-aways donated by local area businesses. After the awards ceremony, the court provides beverages and snacks, most of which are donated from area businesses and court members. Our judges, most professionals in their field, are given a small stipend for their efforts.
The goal isn't really achieving an award, as much as it is understanding and expressing the contest's theme. We are proud of all the thousands of entrants over the past several years.
Our Youth Circle of Love Program, another national Circle of Love program, has offered many various programs including tours of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament and Stations of the Cross at Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and we've participated with local parish programming, such as youth retreats and outings.
Prayer for Vocations
Loving God, your Son, Jesus, has shown us that an open heart finds the way. Help me to find my way in this world. Keep my heart open to following Jesus' way of serving others in love.
Give me the courage to accept the guidance you offer me through my family, my friends, and my parish community.
Through the Holy Spirit, you call me to a particular way of life. If it is the way of a priest, sister, brother or deacon, then help me to walk it in joyful service to your people.
With you, my God, I know I can find my way. Amen.
Our 2021 Summer T-shirt sale was a great success! We appreciate your patronage. We hope to have another similar type sale in the future.
Help us help our neighbor by making purchases through Amazon Smile and selecting our court as your charity! Visit smile.amazon.com/ch/35-2368454.
We have had multiple fundraisers throughout our charter, such as selling gift cards; monthly 50/50 drawings; selling Streak-Free Cloths®; various items (Keurig and afghans); inspirational T-shirts; and cash raffles; dining at local restaurants who give a portion of the receipt back to our court, such as Applebee's, Hoss's, and TGI Friday's; Hoss's Dinner Kits; Schwan's Cares; and, Boscov's Friends Helping Friends Shopping Passes.
Thank you to all who generously participate in our court's fundraisers! The court truly appreciates your help! As you know, the only way we can do what we do as a court, is by the generous participation of our members, family, and friends in our many fundraising programs. Without the proceeds from these fundraisers, the court would not be able to provide all that it does for our local community and beyond. If you aren't already … please, participate … so Court Prince Gallitzin #2625 can continue to do the good works it does in the name of our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.