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Ladies Relief Society celebrates 90 years of service
Any practicing Catholic wishing to join the Ladies Relief Society should call Our Lady of Lourdes, 458-4170. You must be at least 18 years old and live within the parish.
On any given day, members of the Catholic Ladies Relief Society in Colusa will be out feeding the homeless or tending to a number of other charities.
But don't ask any of them to take a bow.
"When we do charity, we don't brag about it," said Rose Buria, 92, who has been a member of the Colusa Society No. 4 of the Catholic Ladies Relief Society in Our Lady of Lourdes Parish since 1958.
Bobbie Jo Seaver and Jerry Steidlmayer have the longest run of service, and other members who have continuous membership of 50 or more years are Caroline Arce and Alma Hickel.
There are 39 members in all.
The group, along with the local Knights of Columbus, recently celebrated the 90 years of service by the Relief Society in the parish.
Formed on April 7, 1922, the mission of the group was to help the poor and the parish clergy.
"At their first meetings, they met in a car because they did not have a place to meet," said Buria, who recounted that story and several others at the recent dinner.
"Then they got a place to meet, and a local doctor gave them a wood stove. But they did not have any money for wood, so they used the cardboard they had from collecting food."
Helping the poor, and most notably the annual Christmas Basket project, remains the primary goal of the Society, which also is involved in helping Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School with its religious education classes, and helping at other parish activities.
The Catholic Ladies Relief Society of the Sacramento Diocese was organized on April 18, 1888, for the purpose of caring for the indigent poor, to increase charity to all, to promote the advancement of Faith, Hope and Charity in its members and to assist the bishop and clergy in their work.
There are eight societies in the diocese, all under the umbrella of the Grand Council. Ten members of Our Ladies of Lourdes has served as the president of the council. The first was Elizabeth Boggs, who was also the first president of the local group.
Others were Charlotte Sullivan, Mary Highstreet, Helen Davison, Thelma Azevedo, Tomarie Sankey, Dolores Ottenwalter, Buria, Eileen Davies and Mary Overton.
In mid-May, local Society President Vicky Stegall will be installed as grand president for the following year to bring the total to 11.
Stegall also presented the Knights of Columbus a check to help with their projects.
Each of the members present was introduced at the dinner, which was held at St. Bernadette's Hall.
Among the special guests were Father John Myles of Sacred Heart Parish in Maxwell and Father Roy Doner of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Oroville.
Father Arbel Cabasagan, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, was unable to attend.