Aug. 22, 2013


CDA's Rayola McLaughlin with Pope John Paul II (Photos courtesy of University Archives)

The University Archives recently launched two online finding aids for collections related to Catholic women.

The finding aid (an online inventory of an archival collection) for the Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA) details 109 boxes of material that include organizational records from the national office, state records, ledgers and files from defunct CDA courts, financial records, photographs, and memorabilia.

CDA was founded in 1903 by the Knights of Columbus with the goals of patriotism, the preservation of the Catholic faith, the spiritual and intellectual development of Catholic womanhood, and charity.

The items in the collection were acquired through several donations between 1998 and 2003. Donations were made by CDA, past national officers, and two authors of a centennial history of the organization in 2003.

The other finding aid pertains to 43 boxes of materials from the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae (IFCA). Items in the collection include administrative and convention records, executive council proceedings, financial records, state chapter correspondence and history, photographs, publications, and other memorabilia.

IFCA Convention in 1978

IFCA was founded by Clare I. Cogan and Clara Douglas Sheerin in 1914 as a federation of alumnae associations of Catholic colleges and universities in the United States with the goal of advancing Catholic women as well as upholding the traditions of Catholic education through social service, rating motion pictures, and promoting scholarships for religious sisters going into education.

Material for this collection was acquired through several donations from 1970 to 2003 with the first donations coming from the Sisters College.

"Both of these Catholic women's groups have deep connections to Catholic University as benefactors, the former by funding the Chair of American Catholic Church History and the latter with the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Chair in Education," says John Shepherd, associate archivist. "These finding aids join those completed two years ago for the Daughters of Isabella and the National Council of Catholic Women, and together all four highlight the rich legacy of faith and service that American Catholic lay women have given to their Church."

The finding aids were created by Raymond Moore, a senior history major from Exeter, R.I., under the direction of Shepherd.

For a list of other finding aids, visit . To find out more about accessing collections in the archives, visit .

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