Daughters of Isabella (D of I)
Daughters of Isabella is the largest international organization for Catholic women in the world. Founded in 1897 as an auxiliary to the Knights of Columbus, it is based upon the strong Catholic values of charity and service. Today it is one of the largest Catholic women’s organizations, with a membership of over 60,000 Catholic women in the United States and Canada. The Bernadette Circle in Bloomington, Indiana includes women from all three Bloomington parishes: St. Charles Borromeo, St. John the Apostle, and St. Paul Catholic Center.
Through various fund-raising activities, members of Daughters of Isabella donate to a variety of charitable organizations. The primary recipient is St. Elizabeth/Coleman Pregnancy and Adoption Services in Indianapolis, which is part of the Catholic Charities and Family Ministries in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Financial support and gifts are given to local organizations and groups including the Women’s Care Center of Bloomington, the Shalom Community Center, and Monroe County United Ministries.
Most members are also involved in service to others, volunteering their time and talent in whatever way they choose, visiting the sick, delivering Meals on Wheels, providing childcare, participating in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and engaging in ministries in our parishes. The ways members serve reflects their diverse interests.
Members meet monthly at St. John the Apostle on the first Tuesday evening (or afternoon) of the month for a combined business meeting and social gathering. All Catholic women are welcome. Please contact the parish office (812-876-1974), for more information.
The Order of the Daughters of Isabella is a charitable organization of Catholic women founded on the principle of its motto: Unity, Friendship and Charity.
We come together as a sisterhood to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church, bringing spiritual benefits to our members and contributing to the common good of humanity.
By our faith we are called to serve, inspired and challenged to do God’s work.
We are committed to foster individual participation by way of mutual understanding, charitable activities and social interaction.
As we strive for the development of all that is best and truest in womanhood, we emerge in our communities as a positive influence to uphold the high ideals of life and morals.
Queen Isabella of Castile
Patroness of Daughters of Isabella
Queen Isabella was born in Alcazar, kingdom of Avila, Spain, on April 22, 1441. When she was eighteen, she married Ferdinand, who was the heir to the throne of Aragon. They had five children. An eager learner herself, Queen Isabella made sure her children had an excellent education. Their most famous child was the youngest, Catherine of Aragon, who married King Henry VIII of England.
When her half-brother died in 1474, Isabella claimed his throne and was crowned Queen of Castile. When her husband, Ferdinand, became the ruler of Aragon five years later, they merged their two kingdoms and governed across an area comprising most of modern-day Spain.
One of their goals was to renew the Church within their kingdoms. Much of the Iberian Peninsula had been conquered by North African Moors, Ferdinand and Isabella fought the Moors. She was actively involved, accompanying her husband to the battlefield and supervising care of wounded soldiers.
In 1492, the two monarchs commissioned Christopher Columbus to find a new route to India, providing the funds for a journey that would lead to the discovery of a land previously unknown to the rest of the world.
When Isabella died in 1504, as a member in the Third Order of Saint Francis, her funeral was simple.