The first circle of the Daughters of Isabella was formed in New Haven, CT in 1897 as an Auxiliary to the Knights of Columbus for the purpose of uniting all Catholic women into a fraternal order for spiritual benefits, and to promote higher ideals within society. Father Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, is also recognized as the founder of the Daughters of Isabella. Present membership is divided almost equally between the United States and Canada and numbers over 45,000 members. Membership in the Daughters of Isabella is open to all Catholic women, age 16 and over.
Our motto is: UNITY, FRIENDSHIP and CHARITY.
We are organized on 3 different levels, similar to the Knights of Columbus – the International Circle, the State Circles and Local Circles.
In the Local Circles, members come together to meet monthly for a combined business meeting and social gathering. There are 9 mandatory officers elected in each circle and a Circle Chaplain is appointed.
Although the circles are “structured”, there is still much individual freedom. Individual circles take on whatever charitable, spiritual, civic and social programs they deem appropriate to them in their area. The members decide where they are needed and how they intend to help in their community.
Examples of charitable activities by some circles are: support of seminarians, soup kitchens, battered women, as well as donation of scholarships to local youth, flood and ice storm relief. Some circles support Children’s Homes; Missions overseas; homes for the aged. On the State level, many worthwhile projects are also adopted. – Some examples are support of a local Catholic TV Station’s Daily Mass; Youth Guidance; another adopted the hearing impaired as their work. And of course, all of our circles are active in support of Respect for Life in whatever capacity they can. So, they vary, as you can see.
We are also a social group – some of our circles have interesting speakers at their monthly meetings; others have a musical group come to entertain – have book study groups – – Some have sponsored plays, pot luck suppers, teas, fashion shows and other fund raisers. And, some circles even have their own bowling and golf teams.
On the spiritual side, our members conduct living rosaries, memorial services for deceased members, days of recollection, and prayers for vocations. We sponsor retreats, communion breakfasts and suppers and many work closely with their local Knights of Columbus on projects such as programs for the youth and pro-life. Some have even helped raise funds for the erection of monuments for the unborn.
Our members are also very supportive of Breast Cancer Awareness and Organ Donation.
Hope this helps you to see that helping others is a way of life for the Daughters of Isabella.
As a member, you will have the opportunity to make new friends, express your views, enhance your spiritual life and become as active as you wish. We give you the opportunity to better your community, your parish and the world through charity and service. You will also appreciate meeting women who have the same morals and share the same beliefs and ideals as yourself.
So, we, the Daughters of Isabella, invite you to join us – as a member of a great Catholic organization, dedicated to serving God, the Church and our brothers and sisters.