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.

Pictured Left to Right:  Leanne Stoll, Recording Secretary; Janel Altstadt, Vice Regent; Deacon Richard Quistorff, Chaplain; Dianne Rohde-Szarke, Regent; Renee Doll, Financial Secretary; Bev Holzer, Treasurer

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.


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

Treasurer:  Bev Holzer

Financial Secretary:  Renee Doll

Recording Secretary:  Leanne Stoll

Chaplain:  Deacon Richard Quistorff

Membership Chairperson:  Janel Altstadt  Email Janel

Newsletter Editor:  Lynn Schwanke

District Deputy:  Lori Curtis


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 Ann Dardis (, 218-346-3429)







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Divine Mercy Sunday - 2021

Court St. Rita #409, Perham, Minnesota, sponsored Divine Mercy Sunday at St. Henry’s Catholic Church on April 11th, 2021, the second Sunday after Easter. The Holy Hour was chaired by Mary Kerekes  along with Sue Martodam, Rosie Altstadt, Jackie Hager and Tara Moenkedick.  Father Matthew Kuhn opened the 3  o’clock Divine Mercy celebration with the Eucharistic Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  The sacrament of Confession was available by Father Matt and Father Arlie to earn plenary indulgence.  Scripture Readings were read by Debbie Blickenstaff, Jackie Hager, Phil Moenkedick and Sue Martodam.   The Divine Mercy Chaplet was sung by Jeff Blickenstaff and Karla Bell. Deacon Richard Quistorff, court chaplain, presided over the Holy Hour ending it with Benediction.  The message of Divine Mercy was entrusted to a Polish Nun from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy, now known as Saint Faustina.  The message was to reiterate the death of Jesus on the cross, that his passion and death was to be mercy from the Father for the world.

Pictured (left):  Divine Mercy Sunday committee member Tara Moenkedick 

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

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Pajama Party - May 3rd, 2021


With the Blessed Mother Mary in the background and St. Francis to their left, Regent Dianne Rohde-Szarke, along with her husband Jim, set  off to do God’s work. 


At the Minnesota State virtual convention held on April 23-24 in Moorhead, Minnesota, the Key Note Speaker Renee Rongen encouraged everyone to have a pajama party. 


Renee has seen the sadness and struggles with women across the country, who flee in the night for a safe place away from their abuser.  Her goal is to make sure every women and child who flee get to sleep in a new pair of pajamas.  She challenged each court to have a pajama party,  bring a new pair of pajamas and donate them to a shelter in the area. 


Court St. Rita #409 Perham, Minnesota donated many pairs of PJ’S which Dianne and Jim are delivering to the Women Crises Center here in Perham. 


God Bless every one who donated to this cause and God help those who are in need. 

Pictured:  Jim Szarke and Regent Dianne Rohde Szarke

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.

11 St. Henry’s students were present in their cars for a blessing from Father Matt, Deacon Richard and Deacon  Randy.  Catholic Daughter Court St. Rita presented all 27 graduates from St. Henry’s, St. Lawrence, Sacred Heart  and Holy Cross with a small gift under their “In the Beginnings” project. 


to our

2020 Seniors!

Court St. Rita Education Contest Winners

2021 Catholic Daughters National Education Contest Local Winners:

Themes for 2021 were:  “Let all you do be done with Love”  and “Show Love to one another”.           

Division 1 Poetry:  1st Place, Kaiya Novotny, 5th grade.  2nd Place, Madison Kratzke, 5th grade.  3rd Place, Alexis Poser, 5th grade.

Division 2 Poetry:  1st Place, Gabriella Scraper, 6th grade.

Division 3 Poetry:  1st Place, Natalie Rooney, 10th grade.


Division 1 Art:  1st Place, Ava Tobkin, 5th grade.  2nd Place, Cassidy Nelson, 5th grade.  3rd Place, Josie Rooney, 4th grade.

Division 2 Art:  1st Place, Isabella Burkman, 6th grade. 2nd Place, Daisy Loerzel, 6th grade.  3rd Place, Isaac Adams, 6th grade.

Division 3 Art:  1st Place, Molly Pearson, 10th grade.  2nd Place, Natalie Rooney, 10th grade.


Division 2 Computer Art:  1st Place, Ethan Kinn, 6th grade.  2nd Place Bristol VanWatermulen, 6th grade.  3rd Place, Max LaFond, 6th grade.

Division 3 Computer Art:  3rd Place, Natalie Rooney, 10th grade.


Division 3 Photography:  1st Place, Natalie Rooney, 10th grade.

Court St. Rita congratulated and awarded winners March 17, 2021.  Winners are awarded at the local level for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place.  1st place original entries are submitted to State for judging with a chance to proceed to National judging.  Judges are not CDA members, they are community members with expertise in the categories.  A judging rubric is used for points to determine winners.  Not all divisions and categories will have winners in each placement. Court St. Rita is proud of the effort by all of the participants.  The next National Education contest sponsored by Court St. Rita will be January 2022.

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Molly Pearson Division 3 - Art,1st place and Education Contest Chair Leanne Stoll

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Front L-R:  Bristol Van Watermulen, Max LaFond, Daisy Loerzel, Kaiya Novotny, Alexis Poser

Back L-R:  CDA Member Lisa Hemmelgarn, Ethan Kinn, Isaac Adams, Josie Rooney,

Ava Tobkin, Isabella Burkman, Regent Dianne Rohde-Szarke and Chair Leanne Stoll

Slideshow of Winning Submissions (click arrow to view all)

Minnesota State Catholic Daughters Court Education Contest Winners


Court St. Rita Awards from the 2021 Minnesota State Convention


May Crowning

The Catholic Daughters of Court St. Rita #409, Perham, Minnesota honored our Blessed Mother Mary on Saturday, May 1, 2021, by processing into St. Henry’s Catholic Church with the image of Mary.

Leading the procession and carrying the image of the Blessed Mother was Tara Moenkedick, chairmen for the May Crowning, and her daughter Kaylee, a first communicant who carried the crown. Following were other first communicants, Court officers and the clergy. All those processing in-carried a red Carnation to place before the Blessed Virgin Imagine.

The Rosary was led by Catholic Daughter, Rosie Altstadt. All CDA members attending wore sashes, the Court Officers wore their robes.

Celebrant was Father Matthew Kuhn, assisted by Deacon Richard Quistorff.

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On This Day,

O Beautiful Mother

On This Day,

We Give You Our Love

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Pictured: First Communicants, Left to right, front row, Kaylee

Moenkedick, Elizabeth Sazama, Sophia Esser, behind them is Lilly McMullen and Madeline Burkman.

Pictured: Court officers Left Side, Leanne Stoll, Recording Secretary, Renee Doll, Financial Secretary and District Deputy, Lorie Curtis.

Pictured: Right Side, Front, Janel Altstadt, Vice Regent, and Choir member, to her left and next row back is Regent, Dianne Rohde-Szarke. Back row: Father Matthew Kuhn and Deacon Richard Quistorff.

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.