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Minnesota State Officers

Mary Pufall, MN State Regent

Greetings CDA Sisters! 

I would like to introduce myself as your new State Regent.  I am Mary Pufall from Moorhead, MN.  My husband Mike and I moved here in 2011 after spending 30 years in Crookston, MN to be closer to our daughter Sara, her husband Vic and our three delightful granddaughters, Rosetta, Isabella and Sophia.    I was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and moved to Duluth to attend St. Luke’s School of Nursing.  Mike and I have been married for 46 years.  We have lived in Duluth, Cloquet, Crookston and now call Moorhead home.   Currently, I am retired from nursing after 45 years due to Covid-19.  I loved my work and found it very fulfilling, making a difference for my patients and their families every day. 

I have been a member of CDA for 25 years, first with Court Bishop Schenk in Crookston and now as a member of Court St. Mary’s in Moorhead.  Over the past two years I served as your First Vice State Regent.  It was a great experience, expanding my leadership skills, working together with amazing women, and travelling the state meeting new sisters.

I am very excited for this new adventure and challenge serving as your new State Regent.  I have much to learn about my new role and am fortunate to have some great mentors.  I welcome your ideas, suggestions and support.   I feel very blessed to have such a great team to work with on the State Board.  Thanks Marlys, Monica, Bonnie and Vera.  I am thrilled that Cathy Nelson and Jeaneen Nelson have joined our team.  I am so looking forward to working with them.  I would also like to thank the Past State Officers and you for your dedication to the Catholic Daughters. We will keep building on the rich legacy you have entrusted to us.  Sharing your unique gifts, talents and enthusiasm is a blessing to our organization and for that I am very grateful.

Looking forward to seeing many of you at the Summer Workshops and continuing the important work of the Catholic Daughters.

God bless you,

Mary Pufall, State Regent

Court St. Mary #509 Moorhead


Monica Capra, MN First Vice Regent
Monica Capra, MN State First Vice Regent

My name is Monica Capra and I have been a member of Court Saint Mary-Peter in Mazeppa-Bellechester since 2009. I must admit I have never been a Regent before; I do not have Robert's Rules of Order memorized, and I haven't even read through the Tools of the Trade from cover to cover! But I do, however, have a great love for our Lord Jesus Christ; I have a great love for the Catholic Daughters and I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!


Although I have only been a member of Catholic Daughter for ten years, they have been an important part of my life for much longer.  In 2002, my husband, Deacon Paul Tschann (Chaplin of Court St. Mary-Peter) and I, and our four children, moved to Honduras for mission work for two years.  Court St. Mary-Peter was a pillar of support (both in prayer and financially) during our mission years.


Three years after returning from Honduras, we adopted a 16-year old boy, whom we had met there.  We now have five children; Juan has four little ones and lives nearby, Isaac and his wife, Chelsey (a Catholic Daughter) have been married a year and are expecting in February.  Emma and her husband, Kendahl have been married about a year and live in St. Paul.  Jacob and his brand new wife, Sarah are  FOCUS missionaries on Northern University campus in Aberdeen, SD and Rachel is also a FOCUS missionary serving on the college campus of Valparaiso in Indiana.  I work as a special education teacher with the Goodhue County Education District specializing in Physical Impairments, Heath Disabilities, and Traumatic Brain Injuries. 


Mission has always been an important part of our lives and Paul & I have led many youth mission trips.  We also took a small group of youth to Poland for World Youth Day in 2016 and to Medjugorje in 2018. Many graces have come from these pilgrimages. I will be remembering each of the courts in my daily prayers and look forward to serving you as your 2nd vice regent.     

Monica Capra

Cathy Nelson, MN Second State Vice Regent

Dear CDA ‘Sisters’,

Although I’ve already been blessed to meet many of you through our Catholic Daughter activities, I look forward to meeting many more of you and to getting to know you better in my role as State Second Vice Regent!  With that in mind, let me start by sharing a little more about myself.

I was born and raised in Sioux Falls, SD to loving parents, who throughout their 73 years of marriage have always been the best role models of God’s love to my three siblings and myself.  My home parish was St. Joseph Cathedral and I attended Cathedral Grade School, O’Gorman High School, and the College of St. Teresa in Winona.  I always loved school and still enjoy learning so my 35 year career with UM Extension in Steele County was the perfect job for me.  As Administrative Assistant, I was able to keep learning everyday about a range of topics from agriculture and gardening, to home, family and youth development while also developing my secretarial and organizational skills.  But now, setting my own schedule, exploring my interests, and experiencing new challenges and adventures in retirement can’t be beat!

Greg, my best friend and husband of 27 years, is my sounding board and cheer leader.  He and I share interests in bird watching, gardening, reading, golf and love classic movies and traveling.  I also enjoy sewing and a variety of crafts.  Our greatest blessings are our four children, their wonderful spouses, and our four fantastic grandchildren.

I joined Court St. Anne #1840, Medford in 1982 when I was a member of Christ the King parish.  When I moved from Medford to Owatonna, I kept my membership with Court St. Anne as I wanted to stay in touch with the wonderful women of that Court while building other relationships in my new parish of St. Joseph’s in Owatonna.  I have served as Court Historian, Vice-Regent and Regent as well as District Deputy.  I have been so impressed with the faithful, hard-working, and generous women in our Court and in all the Catholic Daughters I have encountered, that I find it a great honor to serve as State Second Vice Regent.  Thank you for your confidence, your prayers and your patience.  I pray, with God’s grace, that the work we do together will give Him glory and show His light to the world.


Cathy Nelson

Jeaneen Nelson - Mn State Secretary

Greetings to CDA Sisters!

My name is Jeaneen Nelson and I’m accepting the position of MN State Secretary for the Catholic Daughters of the Americas if elected.

I grew up on a farm outside of Marshall as the oldest of 5 children in our family. My first husband and I were married for 10 years and were blessed with 4 children before he, our daughter and oldest son died in a car train accident. I became very involved in Beginning Experience, (BE), a support group and retreat weekend for the formerly married. I remarried 6 years later, moved to Slayton and was blessed with 2 beautiful step daughters. After 32 years of marriage, my husband passed away and I have remained in my home since. 

In the first years of my marriage, I was a Tupperware dealer and then a manager. After moving to Slayton, I did volunteer work at the school, then I worked as a bank teller and then for a nonprofit. I have been involved at our church serving on the church council, Faith Formation teacher, Co-chair for the funeral committee and Lay Chaplain visitor at the Hospital. I have been a member of Court Queen of Peace, #1558, Slayton, at St Ann’s parish for 30 years and have served as Regent, Secretary,  Financial Secretary, District Deputy and State Quality of Life Chair. 

My son, Mike and family live in Slayton, son, Ryan and family live in Marshall, daughter, Brenda and family in Minneapolis and daughter, Deb and family live near Waconia. An adopted family friend, Becky from Kenya, lives in St Paul. I have 6 grandsons and 5 granddaughters. 

I really enjoy my time at the cabin in the summer, golfing, traveling and mostly, spending cherished time with my family and friends.


Vera Hannig, MN State Treasurer

I am honored to serve as your State Treasurer for the 2021-2023 term.  I will continue to work hard to keep your monies secure and your ledger books in order.

I was raised on a farm in northeastern Minnesota.  I loved the woods with the beautiful White and Norway pines.  I enjoyed working outside on the farm, fishing, hunting, gardening, training horses, and learning to play the piano and playing in church.  I went off to college to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree.

My husband, Deacon Dan, and I have been married for nearly 40 years.  We are both retired educators.  My husband began his career as a social studies/history teacher, but then became a high school principal.  I was a high school mathematics teacher.  We both have been employed in public and Catholic school systems having a wide variety of experiences.

My husband was ordained as a Deacon in the year 2000.  He serves as a Deacon at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston, MN, for seven months of the year and as a Deacon at St. Anthony of Padua in the Diocese of Tucson, Arizona, for five months of each year.  My husband’s main ministry in  jails and prisons.  I am very appreciative of my husband to offer his knowledge and assistance in my faith journey.

We have two sons who are married.  James and Kaylyn live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  James is the Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator for the City of Milwaukee.  Kaylyn will soon have a Master’s Degree in Community Psychology.  Donovan and Sara live in Redford, Michigan.   Donovan is an architect in the Detroit area.  Sara is a histotechnologist in Detroit.

After I retired from teaching, my husband and I moved to Crookston.  Soon after this, I was invited to join the Court Bishop Schenk Catholic Daughters of the Americas.  Little did I know that I would be asked to be the local court treasurer, and later to be nominated for the position of State Treasurer.  I thank past officers in their guidance for this position.  We truly have a wonderful group of sisters in faith.

I look forward to working with you and with our new team of officers.  I hope to see many of you at workshops and events.

Blessings to you,


Marlys Knuth, Past MN State Regent
Marlys Knuth, MN Immediate Past State Regent

Dear CDA Sisters, I am humbled and blessed to have served as your State Regent. St Claire of Assissi says “Love God, Serve God, everything is in that” and Peter 4:10 states  “As each one has  received  a gift….use it to serve one another  as good stewards’ of God’s varied grace”. These statements will guide and inspire  me  and the other State Officers as we proceed into the next two years. I challenge myself to strive to live my life accordingly.

I have been married to my husband, Ken, for 55 years.  We have four children and nine grandchildren. Our children are living throughout the Us and abroad —our daughter and family live in Arlington, MA; a son and  family live in Sebastopol, CA,; another son, in Paris, France and our youngest son and family live near Baltimore, MD.  Being a Minnesota native and living here most of my life, visiting them gives us a great opportunity for travel. A highlight of our life--- hosting the Harvest Mass for the Winona Diocese on Aug. 15, 2014.  We raise Shire horses as a hobby, so  Bishop Quinn was driven to the alter by horse and carriage.

I have been a Catholic Daughter for 36 years in Ct. Queen of Peace #1558, St. Ann’s parish, Slayton, MN.  I have served in many local Officer positions, also as State Education Chair and as  State Second and First Vice Regent.

I have worked in the education field for over 25 years, I have worked with at-risk youth and special needs youth, which was a challenge, but rewarding, because there were occasions where you could see that you made a difference in their lives. I serve as a Eucharistic Minister and Lecturer in our local parish. I have also taught Faith formation classes. Since I have retired from teaching, I find that volunteering and CDA activities fills much of my time. I am a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts and have been involved in  that organization on the local level and  on the State Board.

I look forward to working with You and this great team of Officers, serving you,(my CDA Sisters). My desire is to bring good leadership as we work together to increase membership, sustain a close relationship with God and enjoy and participate in CDA events and activities.