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St. Anne's Christian Ladies Sodality

St. Anne’s Christian Ladies Sodality is the oldest active organization within St. John's Parish. It was formed in 1889 and became affiliated with the Archconfraternity of the Christian Mothers on June 16, 1889. The purpose of forming the organization was to unite the ladies of the parish so they could support one another by prayers and deeds in their efforts to live as dedicated Christian women.

When the Sodality began, their patron saint was both St. Elizabeth. The big bell in the steeple of the church was purchased by the Sodality in 1900 and bears an inscription to St. Elizabeth. The patron was later changed to St. Anne, the mother of Mary. The reception of new members is still held annually on a Sunday near the feast day of St. Anne which is July 26.

In the early years of the Sodality, the members would remain in the church after their monthly communion Mass for the recitation of the Prayer Before a Crucifix. Frequently the pastor would then talk to the members on their role as Christian women.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s to the Sodality contributed financially to the parish by sponsoring quilt socials and suppers.

In 1956, the ladies made 80 quilts which they took to St. Louis for a quilt social. The ladies then made quilts for the Quilt-A-Month Club. Membership in the club was $1.00.

In 1957, the Sodality sponsored a basket supper in honor of Mr. and Mrs. B. L. Hotze’s golden wedding anniversary.

In 1958, the Club had 1505 members.

In 1964, the Sodality celebrated its Diamond Anniversary as a member of the Archconfraternity. The Director General of the Archconfraternity recognized the Sodality as an organization which “has for 75 years drawn the mothers closer to the heart of Our Lady, the Sorrowful Mother, and aided them spiritually in educating their children to be faithful members of the Catholic Church and imitators of Mary, the ideal Christian Mother, and her perfect Son, Jesus Christ”.

Throughout the years the organization has aided the spiritual life of its members through prayers at meetings, monthly Sodality Mass and Rosary, and Masses celebrated for living and deceased members. The Sodality has sponsored activities to help Father Clem and Father Al Hotze in their missionary work and the Notre Dame Missions in the Honduras.

In 1974, the Sodality received the Papel Blessing for their help with the missions. The Sodality is also actively interested in religious education, spiritual growth, and many other spiritual and social activities of the parish.

The Sodality is affiliated with the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women of Springfield – Cape Girardeau. The D.C.C.W. works through six commissions: Family, Church, Community, Organization, Legislation, and World Affairs. St. Anne’s Sodality has a chairperson for each commission. These meet quarterly with other chairpersons of the Region. On the parish level, the Sodality also has four active committees: Membership, Welcoming, Pro-Life, and Refreshments.

In 1981, the Sodality had 124 members. On September 17, the ladies were favored by a visit from the very Rev. Father Bertin Roll, O.F.M. Cap., the Director General of the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers. Father Roll celebrated an evening Mass and was a guest and speaker at a regular meeting after the Mass. In addition to promoting the Archconfraternity, its purposes and the services it provides, Father Roll discussed a number of recommendations which he presented as a means for self-improvement in his inspirational talk.

Also in 1981, ladies of the Sodality took an active part in the Jubilee celebration. They sponsored a booth which featured baked goods, needlework, and other craft items, and also formed a group which participated in the parade.

One of the largest projects ever attempted by the ladies with the preparation of a community cook-book. The initial printing, received in December, 1981, was quickly sold and additional copies were ordered to meet the demand.

Information provided by the Book "1856-1861 125th Jubilee" Richard J. Elfrink and many others in the Acknowledgements

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