of the Americas, founded in 1903 by the Knights of Columbus, started under the name "Daughters of Isabella" as a
womens' auxillary for the Knights, in Utica, New York.
Queen Isabella, as noted by the late writer Washington Irving, was a national
heroine, along with Christopher Columbus and his voyages to the New World. Isabella became a kind of feminie ideal throughout
the United States, and was known as the "Catholic Queen", in an era of rampant anti-Catholicism. The ladies
of Utica incorporated themselves as the "Daughters of Isabella", a tribute to the queen, and a fitting compliment
to the Knights of Columbus.
The organization grew at incredible speed, first in New York, then in New England, and along the Atlantic coast. Soon
the organization engulfed the nation. The "courts" were established to compliment the "councils"
of the Knights, but continued to be distinct in their programs and undertakings.
The courts were always active in many national issues, such as women's
sufferage, even while avoiding political involvement.
The group began gaining the admiration and support of many other Americans of
different backgrounds. They assisted women in inner cities, demonstrated activism in WWI and WWII by selling bonds,
conducting summer camps, working with the Red Cross, the USO, and helping with the "canteens" for service men and
The Catholic Daughters of the Americas are a resource and blessing that bishops and pastors alike come to appreciate
more and more each year.
We are the largest National organization of Catholic women with over 90,000 members.
In 1909, the first "subordinate" court, # 118, in
Eugene, Oregon, was instituted with 36 charter members. It was the first court west of the Rockies.
By 1923, seven courts had been instituted in Oregon, along
with our State court. Since then there have been 36 conventions, and 22 State Regents. The membership in
Oregon currently sits at over 1,400; with 24
courts, and eight JCDA courts.
There are CDA courts in every state in the Union except Alabama, Maine, Missouri, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. We currently have eight National charities we focus on, several
state charities and projects, and each local court contributes to the needs of their parish communities.
IF YOU HAVE TIME TO PRAY, YOU HAVE TIME TO BE A CATHOLIC DAUGHTER!