Map of Minnesota Courts and Our State Court History

Enjoy the map of where our courts are located throughout the state of Minnesota.  As you can see, the majority of the courts are located in southern Minnesota.  That is because Rt. Rev. R. Heffron, in whose diocese they were located, is credited for the encouragement and assistance he has rendered the order.  Following is an interesting article I found on him when I went out on the website to look for further information:

With the advent of the railroads, southern Minnesota developed rapidly. It is a rich agricultural district, well adapted to the needs of diversified farming. So well did the Church flourish in this section of the state that in 1889 southern Minnesota was made a diocese, with Winona as the episcopal city, and the Rev. Joseph B. Cotter its first bishop. Bishop Cotter was born at Liverpool, England, 19 November, 1844. He was ordained priest by Bishop Grace at St. Paul, 23 May, 1971. Shortly after his ordination he was sent to Winona as pastor of the Church of St. Thomas. With Bishop McGolrick of Duluth and the late Bishop Shanley of Fargo, he was consecrated in the cathedral at St. Paul, 27 December, 1889. He died in Winona, 27 June, 1909. When the diocese was formed, Bishop Cotter had 45 diocesan priests and 4 religious. There were 45 churches with resident pastors, 49 mission churches, 15 stations, and 19 parish schools, attended by 2650 pupils. At his death in 1909 there were in his diocese, 85 diocesan priests and 7 religious; 72 churches with resident priest; 44 missions with churches; 8 station; 28 parish schools, attended by 4630 pupils. As second Bishop of Winona, Pius X, on 4 March, 1910, selected the Rev. P.R. Heffron, rector of the St. Paul Seminary. Born in New York City in 1860, he spent his boyhood near Rochester, Minnesota. He was ordained on 22 Dec., 1884, and became pastor of the cathedral, St. Paul, in 1889. In 1896 he was made vice-rector and in the following year rector of the St. Pal Seminary. On the day of his consecration as Bishop of Winona, 19 May, 1910, six bishops were consecrated for the Province of St. Paul. Bishop Heffron was installed at Winona, 24 May, 1910. As a monument to the memory of his predecessor he erected in Winona (1911) the "Cotter School for Boys", of which the Christian Brothers have charge. In the fall of 1911 work was started at Terrace Heights, Winona, on the foundation of a college for young men. Bishop Heffron has likewise established a diocesan journal entitled "The Winona Courier", which is published monthly at Winona today. 

And to add a further note:  Court Winona #191 was the first Catholic Daughter Court established in the state of Minnesota - February 2, 1913 - all credited to Rev. Heffron. Thus, the other courts followed under his direction.

This brings us to the "History Of Our State Court". 

The early records of our State Court were lost in a flood in the 1990's.  In trying to reconstruct the history of our state court from its beginning, much research was done.  Knowing what was said in the article above about our first local courts, archives of the local city newspaper, the Winona Republican-Herold, played a big role in helping obtain information.

The minutes of Court Winona #191 of February 26, 1923, shows a meeting was called for March 4, 1923 for the purpose of organizing a state court.  The meeting was to be held in Mankato, MN.

The Winona Republican-Herald, dated May 9, 1925, states that "Catholic Daughters Entertain State Convention Here Tuesday". It further states that the "Winona Court of Catholic Daughters of America will be the hostess on Tuesday, May 12, 1925 to the organization of the State of Minnesota, when delegates from various courts throughout the state will convene in the city of Winona for the first state convention in Minnesota.

It is a rather happy coincidence that Winona should have been chosen for the holding of the first state convention, as the local court was the first to be established in Minnesota, having recently passed the twelfth anniversary of its establishment.

The program opened at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday with the convention mass at St. Thomas Pro-Cathedral after which delegates held their first meeting in the Knights of Columbus Hall.  The evening banquet was held at Hotel Winona. Rt. Rev. Patrick R. Heffron, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Winona, delivered the principal address.  

At the time of this first state convention, there were 15 courts in Minnesota having a combined membership of 1,500.  

On Wednesday morning the visitors     were taken for an automobile ride   about Winona's beautiful drives during which an inspection of the colleges were made. It was the hope of Court Winona that by acquainting these representatives with the beauties of Winona, they may cherish the memory of their short stay here for many years.  

Rt. Rev. Patrick R. Heffron, D., Bishop of the Diocese of Winona, delivered the principal address.  State officers were:
Catherine Fleming, Moorhead, state regent; Rose J. English, Mankato, state secretary; Susie T. Bouquet, Caledonia, state treasurer; Mary Tucker, Winona, state advocate; Agnes Schroeder, Perham, state monitor; and Rev. Father Louis O'Day, State Chaplain.  Father O'Day was chaplain until resigning in 1946."

In 1926, the first Junior Catholic Daughter Court in Minnesota was established on December 19th in Fairmont.  At one time there were five courts with over 115 junior members active.  At the present time, there is one junior court located in St. Charles, Mn.

In 1965, the state newspaper, "Go-Pher News" was started by Olive Hastad of Moorhead.  Four issues were published yearly and were mailed to all members.  The newsletter won several awards in the National Newsletter Contest. For about a year in 2010, its name was changed to  the "Minnesota CDA Newsletter".  Today it is known as "The Voice of the "Lakes".   Members now receive the state newsletter by e-mail or by regular postal mail.

In 1966 a cookbook, "Everybody's Favorites" was released as a statewide fundraiser.  A total of 10,000 cookbooks were sold in eight months. This cookbook was reprinted seven times during the next ten-year period, netting the state and local courts approximately $60,000 for many charitable projects.  The cookbook sold for $5.00

In 1994 a cookbook, "Potluck" was published and used as a statewide fundraiser and approximately 23,000 cookbooks were sold.  In the first printing, books sold for $10.00 and over $100,000 in profits benefited many state and local charities.

The Minnesota Catholic Daughters hosted the National CDA Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota in July, 2006.  All local courts and several hundred members were involved in making this a successful and memorable convention.

The Minnesota Catholic Daughters helped build the National CDA funded Habitat House in Dilworth, Minnesota in 2001.  Thus, the Habitat Build began in Minnesota. The Minnesota Catholic Daughters dream to help those in need to be able to own their own home became a reality when they partnered with Habitat for Humanity and began a partnership "CDA Building with Habitat" in the year 2002-2003.  An annual grant of approximately  $10,000.00 was made available to a court/affiliate with monies that were raised through the Gummi Bear Candy project. Each local court is encouraged to distribute, for a monetary donation, the Gummi Bears to coincide with National Catholic daughter Sunday which is the third Sunday of October.  Thus, those dollars raised, help raise the $10,000.00 needed to build another home.   We have just completed our 13th Habitat Home.

At the present time there are 29 courts in Minnesota with a membership of approximately 2300.