Daughters of Isabella leader says recruitment is her top priority
Published: August 20, 2012
DEARBORN, Mich. (CNS) -- Increasing membership will be the main focus of her second term as international regent of the Daughters of Isabella, Christiane Chagnon said in an interview in connection with the group's biennial convention. "The main thing is recruitment -- that's the No. 1 priority," Chagnon told The Michigan Catholic, newspaper of the Detroit Archdiocese. She was re-elected Aug. 6, as about 600 delegates from Daughters of Isabella circles in the United States and Canada gathered at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dearborn, just west of Detroit. Chagnon, 66, is a member of St. Patrick Parish in Magog, Quebec. The Daughters have about 60,000 members, but they are mostly in their 60s or older, she said, explaining that the group's recent recruitment efforts to bring in younger members are beginning to show results. Helen Anonick, the Daughters' Michigan state regent, said the organization had suffered from an attitude of "it's our club; we aren't interested in recruiting younger members." At 43, Anonick herself is much younger than the typical member of the Daughters of Isabella, but she joined when she was 16 at her mother's insistence. She conceded, however, that she was not much interested in it back then. "When I was in high school, I didn't want to be with the ladies. When I was in college, I didn't want to be with the ladies, but after I was married and started my family, then I appreciated the chance to get out with the ladies," said Anonick, a resident of the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Woods and member of St. Joan of Arc Parish in adjacent St. Clair Shores.
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