SEA ISLE CITY – Members of the Catholic Daughters, Court Our Lady of Mercy #1655, of Saint Joseph Church, recently donated artifacts from their organization to the Sea Isle City Historical Museum – including several ceremonial robes that were worn by members of the volunteer group during special occasions, and a collection of inspirational emails that were sent to members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The emails were written by Anne (Chickie) Flora, who served as the group’s Regent (aka: Chairperson) from 2016 to 2022. Each email began with the words “Good Morning Dear Sisters” – a greeting that was always followed by messages that inspired and encouraged Mrs. Flora’s fellow Catholic Daughters.
It was not uncommon for the emails to include quotes from famous individuals, ranging from Mother Theresa to President John F. Kennedy.
In the email dated June 27, 2020, Mrs. Flora included the words of Padre Pio (the Italian friar and priest, who was declared a saint in 2002): “Bring love wherever you go. Shine light wherever it’s dark. Leave blessing wherever you’ve been. Be kind wherever you are.”
In one email, Mrs. Flora wrote: “When we arise in the morning, we must think of what a precious gift it is to be alive – to breathe – to think – to enjoy – to love.”
In addition to words of encouragement, the emails often included brief updates on events that were pertinent to the Catholic Daughters – and each one ended with a light-hearted pun or joke.
The upbeat tone of the emails resonated throughout the group – and amongst other members of Saint Jospeh Parish, many of whom had the emails forwarded to them.
In total, Mrs. Flora composed 440 email messages, which, when printed on paper, filled two large ring binders. Those binders were donated to the Historical Museum because her fellow Catholic Daughters wanted to acknowledge the thoughtfulness and encouragement they received from their Regent – and they wanted to share that gift with the rest of the community.
“Chickie is the most Christian person I know,” said Jennie Hadfield, a long-time member of the Court Our Lady of Mercy. “She is a mentor to me and many other people, and she always has the right words to say – no matter what the occasion.”
“Chickie has a heart of gold, and she is a very understanding person who is compassionate and caring for all people,” said Linda Levitsky, the current Regent of Court Our Lady of Mercy. “She is a valued member of our organization and our community!”
The Catholic Daughters of the Americas is a national organization that also operates on the state and local levels.
Locally, the Court Our Lady of Mercy shows compassion for others in a wide variety of ways, including making donations to nearby food pantries, supporting local students, sponsoring an annual scholarship program, and showing kindness to children and young people in need. Currently, they are also raising funds for Maui’s fire victims and other charitable causes.
To learn more about the Catholic Daughters of Saint Joseph Church, go to https://www.stjosephsic.org/ and click the “Parish Organizations/Ministries” link on the home page, or phone 609-263-8696.