Daughters of Isabella
Daughters of Isabella is a Catholic women’s association founded in 1897 which now has over 60,000 members. Their patron is Queen Isabel. We interviewed Elaine Leger, the International Regent, and Joan Breton, an International Past Regent.
Q: In what parts of the world are the Daughters of Isabella present?
Q: The Daughters of Isabella donated in 2004-2006 over US$1,400,000 to charitable causes and over 2,500,000 hours of voluntary service. Could you tell us about your gifts to the Church?
Our members are involved with Red Cross groups and their parish churches. In Canada almost every circle volunteers help in nursing homes. We also assist with youth groups – memorably for the World Youth Day held in Toronto. Our members take part in prayer vigils, days of recollection, communions; they act as Eucharistic ministers, lectors, whatever they can do to serve their church. They make pilgrimages – for example a huge one each year to the Marian Shrine at Cap de Madeleine in Quebec. Hundreds of our members go there together for prayer.
Q: What kind of inspiration do Daughters of Isabella draw from their patroness?
Q: Isabel’s life seems more dramatic than Hollywood’s best epics. Does her strength of character help make Isabel a great icon for young women?
Q: What was the highlight of the August 2006 Convention in Toronto? What will be the theme for the 2008 Convention in St. Louis?
The theme for the 2008 International Convention in St Louis, Missouri, will be picked out by the State Regents and International Officers later this year .
Q: How much interaction is there between the Daughters of Isabella and the Knights of Columbus?
Q: What is the specific meaning of “Unity” in your motto “Unity, Friendship, Charity”?
Isabel Magazine also spoke with Dr Carol Dorr Clement, PhD, who is writing a book on the history on the Daughters of Isabella. Carol told us, “In tracing the origins of Daughters of Isabella, the book relates how God’s grace works through various cultures and in various times: in Quebec and other parts of Canada, and in various states in the USA. The results are not always immediate but they come to touch many lives. God at work through all this is a reality that I sense. The book will certainly have a section about Queen Isabel, who is an admirable person. I am very impressed by what she did with military hospitals.
“The Daughters of Isabella were definitely inspired by God’s love, working through people. We want to keep their memory alive and in the history of the Church. In researching for this book, I have met very, very good women. These women are very different from what we see in the media today, so I always come away from meeting with them very hopeful and very inspired.”
For more information on Daughters of Isabella, see www.daughtersofisabella.org or call 202-865-2570 (CT, USA). Dr Clement’s book is scheduled to be available by the 2008 Convention.