Spotlight on...

AZ Court St. Mary Magdalene #2708, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Avondale!

Court St Mary Magdalene #2708 has been a vibrant, growing, and active participant in AZ Catholic Daughters of the Americas since its inception in 2016, when AZ State Regent Lori Holland approached St. Thomas Aquinas Church pastor, Father Muir, to receive permission to initiate a new CDA Court. Whilst retaining founding members, many women of the parish have since joined to share their faith, friendship, love, talents and creativity. Through the Love of God, members dedicate themselves to be creative servants by participating in the Circle of Love.

Prayer Warriors have been a powerful ministry to pray for those in need, poor health, or for the loss of a loved one as well as prayers of thanksgiving for God's blessings, love, and peace.

The Court has held many successful fundraiser events- Rummage Sales, Shredathon, Bake Sales, Ladies' English Tea, etc. to support various charities such as New Life Women's Shelter in Avondale and St Thomas Aquinas Parish Elementary school and presented checks to St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank and St John Paul II High School. They also hold a students writing contest, which in 2017 produced a winner in the CDA National contest finals. The women have served annually a spaghetti dinner for the parish teen group every January, which is an enormously popular event with the kids!

Another exciting year is coming up, and if you would like to learn more

please contact Jeanine Maiella


St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church

13720 W. Thomas Road

Avondale, AZ 85392


10:00 AM- 12:00 PM Every Third Saturday of the month (except for June, July and August);

Meeting followed by Fellowship.

Court #2708 St. Mary Magdalene OFFICERS: 2020-2022

Regent Martha Fornes

Vice Regent Jeanine Maiella

Treasurer Donna Tomassone

Financial Secretary Cherrie Pierson

Recording Secretary Debbie Richter

Spiritual Advisor Deacon Edgar Carnecer


Marta Vielma,Woman of the Year

Marta Vielma Nominee, Arizona Catholic Daughter of the Year

Court Queen of Peace #2359 Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, Green Valley, Arizona

Member Standing

Marta Vielma has been in Good Standing at Court Queen of Peace #2359 since February 2008. • Prior to joining Court Queen of Peace in 2008, Marta was a member of Santa Monica’s Court #1987 from 1999 through January 2008. When Santa Monica’s Catholic Daughters Court disbanded, Marta joined Court Queen of Peace in Green Valley and has driven from her home in Tucson to attend all Court meetings, activities, and events in Green Valley.

Active in Court Activities

National CDA Conference Attendant and Delegate – 2008 in Albuquerque NM, and 2018 in Sioux Falls, SD. • State CDA Conference Delegate – 2019 • State CDA Conference Attendant – 1999 – 2019 • Participant, State conference training sessions • Treasurer – 2020 • Hospitality and Refreshment Chairperson – 2015 to 2020 • Model at Spring Fashion Show and served on the Set Up and Take Down Committees – 2017 to 2020 • Telephone Tree Call Leader – 2019 to Present • Volunteer for Fashion Show Silent Auction Committee – 2019 to 2020 • Volunteer for Membership Drive activities at Our Lady of the Valley – 2019 to 2020 • Member of Christmas Giving Tree activity – 2018 to 2020 • Member of Supporting Our Military activity – 2019 • Nominations Committee Chairperson – 2017 to 2018 • Member of Circle of Love campaigns – o As a longtime member of Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Marta has been involved with Education campaigns as an active participant. Between 2015 to 2016, she was a member of the Committee that facilitated a writing contest for children with cash prizes being awarded to 1st, 2nd , and 3rd place winners. o As an attendee and delegate at Arizona State Conferences from 1999 to 2019, and during 2 National conferences she has familiarized herself with the Legislative initiatives announced and discussed at the conferences and reported back to the Court to explain the significance and relevance of each, and its role in upholding Catholic doctrine and practices. 2

Active within her Parish and CDA Communities

Active participant in Court and parish activities at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, Green Valley – 2008 to Present. • Attends mass regularly as a registered parishioner and an active participant at Santa Monica Roman Catholic Church, Tucson, AZ – 1988 to Present. • Office Aide/Assistant to Sisters Rachel and Carla, Directors of CCD program at San Xavier Mission, Tucson, AZ 2018 to 2019. • Former member, registered parishioner and active participant at St. Augustine Catholic Church, Tucson, AZ – 1981 to 1983. • Former member, registered parishioner and active participant at St. John Catholic Church, Tucson, AZ – 1983 to 1988.

Active within her Local Community

Member, League of Mexican American Woman (LMAW), a civic organization that serves the local community through advocacy and activism to support and foster justice, equality and human rights and dignity for its residents. 2019 to 2020 o Active participant in the LMAW yearly Scholarship Program fund raising activity to provide financial scholarships to disadvantaged young people from the Mexican American community wishing to attend college. o Active participant on The Ronald McDonald House project where members provide needed products and hospitality items to ensure that cleaning services, groceries, and other items are available prior to the arrival of families staying at the Ronald McDonald House, Tucson, AZ. • Volunteer, Sunnyside School District, Tucson, AZ school and community events 1988 – 2020. • Volunteer, Sunnyside School District, serving at the District’s High, Middle, and Elementary schools – 2007 to 2020. • Member, Sunnyside School District Superintendent’s Advisory Board – 2018 to 2020. • Member, Sunnyside School District Site Council, Desert View High School – 2016 to 2020.

Epitomizes Motto of Unity and Charity

Throughout her career at Court Queen of Peace, Marta has demonstrated and exemplified the motto of Unity and Charity by serving her fellow Catholic Daughters through her tireless service in various capacities throughout the years. As Hospitality and Refreshment Chairperson for many years, she is there before meetings to assist the Leadership Team with the meeting room set up and take down, purchasing and providing healthy snacks and refreshments to enhance the social experience for her fellow Catholic Daughters, and especially those preferring healthy food choices. As a reminder, Marta drives into Green Valley from Tucson for these meetings and oftentimes incurs these expenses from her own pocket. Demonstrating her love for our Lord and Blessed Mother through her acts of patience, goodness and forgiveness when she has been slighted, Marta’s personal tenets of Unity and Charity extend well beyond the Court Queen of Peace. She is known as a formidable wife, mother, and grandmother, always requiring that her family practice and adhere to their Catholic principles and teachings. She is charitable and understanding, yet always striving to maintain unity when there is discord and encouraging devotion as the Blessed Mother asks.3 Lives the Mission Statement by Working for Justice, Equality and Human Rights Dignity Her many years of advocacy and activism in the Tucson public schools and her recent participation in the League of Mexican American Women civic organization clearly demonstrate her dedication and putting into practice the guiding principles of the Catholic Daughters’ mission. As a respected member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council at the Sunnyside School District, and member of the Site Council at Desert View High School in the Sunnyside School District, Marta has served to ensure that changes to curriculum and new policies are announced and vetted with parents, are fair and protect all students justly and equally. Likewise, her participation as a member of the League of Mexican American Women has resulted in positive outcomes for many young people seeking to better their lives through a college education. Her efforts have also assisted numerous other members of the community seeking to improve their neighborhood and lives. In addition, Marta has been an active partner in a family-owned business since August 1974. In July 2012 she inherited the business upon her father’s death, and on March 19, 2014, she and her husband formed an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) for the business and continue to operate their business to date. Although Marta has said several times “I prefer to stay in the background” she has always stepped up when needed. Kind, humble, devout, and regardless of her physical and health situation as a kidney transplant patient, she is always ready to assist where needed. Her assistance and dedication to serve has resulted in numerous Court Queen of Peace events, activities, and project successes. Her dedication to serve others through advocacy and activism for justice, equality and protecting the dignity of all those communities she serves has not faltered; she remains strong in her convictions that service to her communities is service to God, and the Blessed Mother.