Catholic Daughters of America

Court St. Rita #409 - Perham, MN


Catholic Daughters of the Americas is the largest organization of Catholic women in the Americas. It is comprised of Catholic women 18 years of age and older. Under the Patroness of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is an extraordinary organization with the dual purpose of spirituality and service. Our local CDA Court, Court St. Rita # 409, is the 3rd oldest Court in the state of Minnesota. They celebrated their 100th Anniversary in September of 2019.  They meet the 1st Tuesday of the month (Sept – June) at 7:00 pm. For more information, contact Dianne Rohde-Szarke at 218-205-1301.

Motto:  Unity and Charity

Patroness:  Blessed Virgin Mary


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.

Regent:  Dianne Rohde-Szarke  Email Dianne
Vice Regent:  Janel Altstadt

Financial Secretary:  Rosie Altstadt
Recording Secretary:  Leanne Stoll
Chaplain:  Deacon Richard Quistorff
Membership Chairperson:  Joanne Winjum  Email Joanne
Newsletter Editor:  Lynn Schwanke
District Deputy:  Linda Schons


Minnesota CDA website:  Click here

National CDA website:  Click here

Junior Catholic Daughters of America
The local Catholic Daughters of America, Court St. Rita #409, sponsors a Junior Catholic Daughters Court, Court St. Teresa of Calcutta, which includes St. Henry’s and the three surrounding parishes. JCDA is a unique organization that is open to Catholic girls, ages 6-18.

JCDA brings girls together for friendship, faith and action to make a positive difference in the community.  The goals of JCDA are Message (Faith), Service (Helping Others), and Community (Friendship).  To express interest in joining or helping, contact Rachel Poser at






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Divine Mercy Sunday 2022
Sunday, April 24th, 2022, Catholic Daughters Court St. Rita #409,  Perham, Minnesota sponsored the devotion to Divine Mercy Sunday at St. Henry’s Church.    Deacon Richard Quistorff led the congregation in this service.  The afternoon consisted of adoration, scriptural reading by the Catholic Daughters and confessions by Father Tom Skaja.  At 3 PM,  the Divine Mercy Chaplet was sung by Dr. Jeff Blickenstaff and Karla Bell.  Special Blessings are received by those attending Divine Mercy Sunday who are in a state of grace.  JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU.  

Pictured:  Mary Kerekes,

chairperson, Divine Mercy Sunday


Catholic Daughters Court St. Rita #409 

Donates to Bridge Pantry

Regent Dianne Rohde-Szarke, members of Court St. Rita and Chaplain Deacon Richard Quistorff recently presented John Leikness, executive director of the Bridge Pantry, a check for $400.00.  The money was raised by the members of the court to help support the Bridge Pantry’s dedication to the health and wel-being of the community.  

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Court St. Rita #409, Perham, Minnesota sponsored the Celebration of Life Mass at St. Henry’s Catholic Church on Thursday, February 24, 2022 with Father Tom Skaja as celebrant.


Our Celebration of Life representatives processed in to church to participate in the Celebration of Life Mass.

Mickey Rohde, Narrator, (son of Regent Dianne) read the bio on each recipient. Because the red rose is a symbol of those who believe a life is our most basic right, red roses will be presented to today’s recipients.

In recognition of the sanctity of life before birth, a rose was presented to Mac and Kelli Stoll by McCoy Nagel, son of Matt and Dani Nagel. The Stolls expect Baby # 3 in July. Mac owns his own construction company and Kelli is a Phy Ed teacher at the Elementary School in Perham.

In recognition of life as an infant, a rose was presented to Levi Thomas Hendrickx and his mother, Lisa. Presenting this rose was Aevyn Salo, daughter of Jill Salo. Lisa is the St. Henry’s Religious Ed coordinator. Andy, Lisa’s husband, is an Agronomist and farmer.

Grace Stoderl, daughter of Bill & Mallory Stoderl, extended a rose to Alexis Poser, a sixth grader at St. Henry’s school, who is representing our youth. Alexis is the daughter of Aaron and Rachel Poser. We recognize the many difficult choices a youth will need to make in their lives. They need our support from childhood to adulthood.

Representing our young adults, is Molly Pearson, daughter of Dean and Barb Pearson. As our teenagers grow and move on to High School, they broaden their horizons and experience changes. Molly is a Junior at Perham High School. After graduation she plans to pursue a degree in Music and Nursing at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Eli Lindberg, son of Maria Lindberg, presented a rose to his cousin, Molly.

A rose was presented to Jaxson Rohde, who represents our special challenges in life. Jaxson is the son of Mickey and Susan Rohde and the Grandson of Regent Dianne Rohde-Szarke. Jaxson, who is 18 years old, was born with a rare genetic disorder called Williams Syndrome. Jaxson has had several surgeries at the Mayo Clinic which left him with 41 inches of rods and 31 screws in his back. Jaxson is one of the managers of the Perham Basketball team and an avid member of Special Olympics. He even became a State Champ. His rose was presented to him by Jacob Scraper, son of Josh and Rebecca Scraper.

Dot Hofland represented the senior members of our community. Wyatt Guck, son of Jeremy and Kimberly Guck, extended her the red rose. Dot is a widow and a retired homemaker. She is the mother of 4 daughters, an active member of St. Henry’s Catholic Church, a Rosary leader at Mass and active in Meals on Wheels for many years. We look to those who are older for wisdom and guidance. We need help in making decisions and appreciate the help our Senior Citizens give us. We appreciate their heritage.

The final rose was presented by Kayia Novotny, daughter of Dan & Amanda Novotny, under the sponsorship of the Catholic Daughters, Court St. Rita. The rose will be placed before the Holy Family as a reminder of our belief and commitment to the Right to Life of all people.

We are to accept life as God’s gift in all stages of life and at every turn. God is there to guide us, our precious life is made in His image and likeness. We gathered today to celebrate life and to thank God, our creator, and our parents for the special gift of life.

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Regent Dianne Rohde-Szarke and grandson, Jaxson Rohde, recipient of the red rose for special challenges at the Celebration of Life Mass.

Pictured: Celebration of Life Participants

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70 Year Catholic Daughter Member

In 2022, honoring  70 years Court St. Rita #409 Catholic Daughter

member Joan Schmitz.  A dedicated member of CDA, Joan was court regent 1963-1965 and a state education chairman.  Joan and her husband, Tom, now  reside at Ecumen Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes, Mn. 

St. Rita,
Pray for Us!

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Catholic Daughter Sunday,

Membership Chairwoman Joanne Winjum

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Gummi Bears for Habitat for Humanity Chairwoman, Lori Curtis

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A successful crowd enjoying the style show!

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Sig Winjum previewing next year's style show

“School  Days”

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Lynn Tobin chairwoman of CDA fundraiser Butter Braids


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Refreshments chairwomen 

Janel Altstadt with Sherryl Holzer


“Minnesota Nice” model

Regent  Dianne Rohde-Szarke

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Our own Chaplain Deacon Richard enjoying the style show!

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A Minnesota Buffalo Plaid theme!  

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Deacon Richard Quistorff, chairman of Someplace Safe with a donation for October Domestic Violence Awareness Month with Director Latasha. 

2021 Someplace Safe Donations

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A truckload full of donations was delivered to Someplace Safe.


Court St. Rita #409,  Perham, MN, met in person on September 7th, 2021 in St. Henry’s Church hall for the first time in over a year because of Covid.  Our first meeting was very special.  

   The evening started with prayer by Chaplain Deacon Richard Quistorff, followed by officers potluck.  Rita Rotta, a 70 year member of Catholic Daughters, was presented with a CDA pin, certificate and a flower.  Reception of New Members Rachel Poser, Tammy Richter and Lisa Glynn were installed by Ritual Coordinator Sherryl Holzer and Regent Dianne Rohde-Szarke.  The new members were also presented flowers and a pin.  

    A program on her life as a Consecrated Virgin Living in the World was presented by member Renee Doll.  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chaplain Deacon Richard Quistorff. 

    Guests were State Regent Mary Pufall, Moorhead MN and District Deputy, Linda Schons, Detroit Lakes, MN.  The meeting ended in prayer by all the members.  

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Left to right:  Rita Rotta, Regent Dianne Rohde-Szarke

Left to right:  District Deputy Linda Schons, new members Rachel Poser, Lisa Glynn & Tammy Richter, State Regent Mary Pufall

September 11, 2021

On September 11, 2021, the 20th Anniversary of the bombing at the World Trade Center in New York City, the Catholic Daughter’s, Court St. Rita #409, along with the Knights of Columbus Assembly #1733,  Perham, Minnesota, participated in a Patriotic Prayer Service to honor those who lost their lives on that day.

     The 3:00 pm Patriotic Rosary was led by Knights of Columbus, Financial Secretary,  Ken Guck.  Scriptures were read by CDA and KC members, Patriotic Songs  were sung by the congregation, led by Deacon Richard Quistorff at St. Henry’s Catholic Church, Perham, MN.

     The Rosary was prayed for the conversion of our country, for our National, State and County Leaders, as well as all 50 States in the Union and those souls in each State. The Prayer Service calls for the United States to be a light for all Nations, that peace may reign throughout our land and beyond all boundaries.  GOD BLESS AMERICA. 

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Pictured (left to right):  Grand Knight Robert Wagenman, Sarah, Kelly & Karen Wagenman, Rosie Altstadt, Renee Doll, CDA Regent Dianne Rohde-Szarke, Leanne & Avery Stoll, Deacon Richard Quistorff, Ken Guck, Al Stigman

Circle of Love - Catholic Daughter Family

Family Faith life usually starts out from birth in most cases and pictured here is one family that grew up together. Dianne and I grew up in a rural community where there was a Catholic Church and School. Our Dads were brothers who lived a couple miles apart. The generation before them, our parents and our generation were all strong Catholic families who lived in the same neighborhood.

Our family life centered around the St. Joseph Catholic Church and the Catholic School which was owned by the Sisters of St. Benedict from Little Falls, Minnesota. (Until the State took over). Holy Days were a fun day as we had a day off from school. St. Joseph’s day was a major Holy Day because of our patron Saint, St Joseph. We attended Mass every weekday, as the church was across the road. We had Catechism on Tuesday’s and Bible History on Friday. We both went to this school for eight years.

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Then we grew up and along came Catholic Daughters. Besides being very active in our church (now St. Henry’s) we both are active in Catholic Daughters, Fuzz 57 Years and 43 years for Dianne. Dianne is and has been Regent for seven years and I have been Publicity chair for that long also. I am still active in our court, at the age of 87, as well as previously the state court. Coincidentally our Mothers were Catholic Daughters and each of us have a daughter in law in court St. Rita #409. Both of us have held many offices in our local court.

With this pandemic it is hard to pick a project to report on. We still support those that are in need, the Food Shelf, the Backpack program, and other charities. A fund is set up in our court to support those members who cannot afford their dues. Mother Teresa says, “Do small things with great love.” With all the restrictions, we are trying to do our best in small ways.


Dianne and I are family. We work together on many projects for God and Country through Catholic Daughters. It gives us an opportunity to spend more time with each other, as a family, and with our Catholic Daughter sisters.

Submitted by, Fuzz Hammers

Consecration of Renee Doll to the

Life of Virginity for Women Living in the World.

Court St. Rita #409. Perham, Minnesota is proud to announce that our financial secretary, Renee Doll, was consecrated to the Life of Virginity at 3 PM Mass on July 31st, 2020 at St. Henry’s Catholic Church with Most Reverent Bishop Donald Kettler (Bishop of the St. Cloud Diocese) presiding. Concelebrants were Reverends Brady Keller, Aaron Kuhn (Renee’s Spiritual Director) and Matthew Kuhn, Pastor at St. Henry’s. Other clergy participating at the Mass were Deacon’s Randy Altstadt, Mark Stenger and Richard Quistorff, Court St. Rita Chaplin and Master of Ceremonies. Attendant’s and Lectors were Jennifer Martin (Renee’s Sister) and Cheryl Prososki (friend). The music was provided by Jeff Blickenstaff, Heidi and Grace Kalina accompanied by Isaiah Blickenstaff on the piano.  Al & Mary Schumacher acted as host and hostess, and Lynn Bleichner was at the guest book.



The formation of a consecrated Virgin is a serious choice, as the consecration is permanent. It is a process: the education is a study of what a consecrated virgin is, what is expected of them, the study of scriptures, study of other consecrated virgins and saints, doctors of the church and church history. The participant meets with a spiritual director, the bishop and a formation director/team. It is at least a 2 year process.

At the actual Consecration, according to the Code of Canon Law, these women must be consecrated to God through the diocesan Bishop according to the Rite approved by the church. The Bishop prays the prayer of consecration, the Virgin receives a ring (mark of the Bride of Christ), a veil and the book, Liturgy of the Hours (prayers of the church).


At the consecration, the Virgin dresses in white, is examined of her willingness and intentions and resolves to follow Christ in a life of perfect Chastity. Upon consecration, they are bethrothed mystically to Christ. The Litany of Saints is prayed as an offering to God the Father and asking for the intercession of the Virgin Mary and Saints. They are to stay a virgin to God for eternity and be dedicated to the service of the church


Consecrated Virginity is one of the oldest recognized forms of consecrated life in the Catholic Church. It is actually as old as apostolic times. Blessed Virgin Mary was actually the first consecrated Virgin. Other consecrated Virgins were: St. Agnes, St Agatha, St Cecilia and St. Lucy. In 1970, the actual rite was renewed and today around 5000 women throughout the world have joined the age old “Order of Virgins.”


Life for the consecrated Virgin looks pretty ordinary. They can live as individuals making themselves available to the desires of the church and work of their spouse (the church). They can hold jobs to support themselves (As the local diocese is not financially responsible for them). They must take time for their physical, spiritual, psychological, emotional and special needs. Their primary focus is on prayer, praying for the needs of the people and priests, attending Mass daily, praying the Liturgy of the Hours, studying scriptures, as well as taking time for personal prayers and devotions. Consecrated virgins living in the world do not wear habits, take vows, change their name or title, they have no leader or Mother Superior. They remain in their diocese, receiving direction from the diocesan bishop but not under his obedience. Reference of consecrated virgins can be found in Matthew 19; 12 and I Corinthians 7:25-40. The consecrated virgin is called to be spiritual by following the example and inspiration of the saints, in particular the Blessed Mother Mary.


A reception followed hosted by Renee’s family at Lakes Café.

Court St. Rita Education Contest Winners
 The Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court St. Rita #409, Perham, Mn has  announced it honored the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in their annual education contest.
Chaired by Leanne Stoll and Lisa Hemmelgarn, the themes of the contest were:  “With God All Things Are Possible” and “Where is God in my life when I am struggling”.  The entries were the competitor’s original ideas based off these themes.

The 2022 Catholic Daughters Education contest winners were:

 * 1st place   Monica Bell, 5th grade
 * 2nd place Tristan Burkman, 5th grade
 * 3rd place  Natalie Boyne, 5th grade
 * 1st place  Natalie Boyne, 5th grade
 * 2nd place Damion LaFond, 4th grade
 * 3rd place Grace Stoderl, 5th grade
 *1st place Harper Schmitz, 4th grade
 *1st place Grace Stoderl, 5th grade
 *2nd place Isabelle Schultz, 5th grade
 *3rd place Monica Bell, 5th grade
 *1st place Madison Kratzke, 6th grade
 *2nd place Alexis Poser, 6th grade
 *3rd place Ryken Shannon, 6th grade
 *1st place Kaiya Novotny, 6th grade
 *1st place Ava Tobkin, 6th grade
 *1st place Cassidy Nelson, 6th grade
 *2nd place Nora Murdock, 6th grade
 *1st place Molly Pearson, 11h grade
 *2nd place Natalia Rooney, 11th grade
 *1st place Natalie Rooney, 11th grade
 *2nd place Molly Pearson, 11th grade
 *1st place Molly Pearson, 11th grade


Court St. Rita awarded winners a monetary stipend for their entries.  Winners are awarded at the local level for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.  1st place original entries are submitted to the state competition with a chance to proceed to national judging.  

2022 Education Contest Winners

Pictured:  First row left to right, regent Dianne Rohde-Szarke, Natalie Boyne, Harper Schmitz, Grace Stoderl, Damian LaFond.  Back Row:  Nora Murdock, Kaiya Novotny, Alexis Poser, Cassidy Nelson, Ryken Shannon, Tristan Burkman, Isabelle Schultz, Monica Bell.

Slideshow of Winning Submissions (click arrow to view all)

Court St. Rita Awards from the 2021 Minnesota State Convention


CDA 100th Anniversary

Pictured: Bishop Donald Kettler, Clergy, Court Chaplain Deacon Richard Quistorff, Court St. Rita Officers, State Officers, JCDA Officers, Banner Bearers and Past National Regent Shirley Seyfried.

Pictured: Bishop Donald Kettler, Court Chaplain Deacon Richard Quistorff and Court St. Rita Officers

For 100 years Court St. Rita # 409 Of Perham, Minnesota has been working in God’s Vineyard. From the Pioneer’s of yesteryear, the women of 1919, to the hard  working Catholic Daughters of the Americas today, we strive to do our best for God and Country. Court St. Rita would not be what it is today if it were not for the unselfish dedication, service and devotion of those who have gone before us. To those we give thanks.

A Mass of celebration at St. Henry’s Catholic Church was held on September 15th, 2019 at 10:00 AM. The celebrate was Most Reverend Bishop Donald Kettler of the St. Cloud Diocese. Concelebrate was Catholic Daughter’s Past National Chaplin Father Matthew Kuhn. Assisting were Deacon Richard Quistorff (Court St. Rita Chaplin), Deacon Randy Altstadt and Deacon Paul Tschann, Zumbrota, MN. Before Mass, the Rosary was led by Knights of Columbus members Al Schumacher and Ken Guck.


Processing into church were the following: Altar Servers Keyana King and Maggie Vickmark, Cross Bearer Dominick Hammers, Knights of Columbus Honor Guard, CDA Color Guard Emilee Olstad, Karen Hammers and Mary Mercer, Banner Bearer Sherryl Holzer, Court St. Teresa of Calcutta JCDA officers Kya Olstad President, Abigail Olstad Vice President and Miranda Poser Secretary, St. Rita Court Officers Treasurer Joanne Winjum (proxy for Lori Curtis), Financial Secretary, Renee Doll Recording Secretary, Lynn Schwanke Vice Regent, Mary Schumacher (Proxy for Helene Johnson), Regent Dianne Rohde-Szarke, District Deputy Lori Curtis, Minnesota State officers, Secretary Bonnie Hein Fergus Falls, Second Vice Regent Monica Capra Zumbrota, First Vice Regent Mary Pufall Moorhead, State Regent Marlys Knuth Slayton, Past National Regent Shirley Seyfried Battle Lake, followed by the clergy. Sacristan was Fuzz Hammers, greeters were Jean Quistorff, Leanne Stoll, JoAnn Meyer and Cheryl Wacker. Catholic Daughter’s of Court St. Rita members wore sashes distributed by Joan Guck and also participated in the Mass. Readers were Lori Curtis, Lynn Schwanke and Gospel and General Intercessions were by Court Chaplain Deacon Richard Quistorff. Homily was by Most Reverend Bishop Donald Kettler. Gift Bearers were Renee Doll and Joanne Winjum and Eucharistic Ministers were the clergy, Dianne Rohde-Szarke, Lori Curtis, Joanne Winjum and Deb Romann. Music was by JCDA and CDA members. Singing the Ava Maria was soloist Ann Dardis.


After the Ritual, a social and dinner was served in the church hall. Denise Schornack and Sophie Zvonar served as hostesses. At the registration and guest book table were Karen Hammers, Mary Schumacher and Judy Christopherson. Pinning corsages were Sheryl Holzer and Diane Lorentz. Regent Dianne Rohde-Szarke welcomed the guests, followed with invocation by Court Chaplain Deacon Richard Quistorff. After dinner, Regent Dianne introduced the special guests and visiting courts. Marlys Knuth, State Regent, congratulated Court St. Rita and presented the court with a 100th Anniversary Plaque from the Catholic Daughter’s National Office. Fuzz Hammers, past State Secretary and State 2nd Vice Regent gave a 100 year history of Court St. Rita.


Guests enjoyed music selections by court members Ann Dardis, Cathy Doll, Janel Altstadt, Sharon Neuerburg and Gina Cavanagh. The JCDA members sang “Singing in the Rain.”


Regent Dianne led us in a closing prayer followed by the song “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”


With thankful hearts, Court St. Rita # 409 is looking forward to the next 100 years.