National Catholic Forester

Summer 2016

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Summer 2016 — 7 continued on page 8 Above: In 1894, 23 years since Holy Family Church (home of our first court) miraculously survived the Chicago fire, the first Board of Directors sat for a formal picture. ey are from the Victorian Era (the time of Sherlock Holmes or the movie Hidalgo) — resplendent in puffed sleeves, straight shirt collars, and pre-Gibson Girl hair. It was these women who were moved to action when a mother of six children in Holy Family Parish, Chicago passed away. When there was no money to pay for funeral expenses a collection had to be taken up. us, the seed was planted to start a society for women, run by women — a society that gave wisdom, strength, support, and protection. In the rear row is Mrs. Winnie Kenney, Mrs. Christina Hoffmann, Mrs. Ellen Wall, Miss Katherine Birmingham, Mrs. Mary Williams, Mrs. Tessie Murphy. Front Row: Mrs. Anne Klaisner, Mrs. Catherine Hughes, Mrs. Elizabeth Rodgers, Miss Annie Daley, and Miss Katherine Rochford. Mrs. Elizabeth Rodgers (center), seated in an intricate wicker chair, was the first High Chief Ranger and leading force of our Society for 17 years! But National Catholic Society of Foresters, as it is named today, was not the start of her career in championing women. Elizabeth Flynn Rodgers was born in Ireland in 1847 during the e Great Famine of 1845- 1852. During the famine, approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland. Elizabeth's family, too, le for London, Ontario (Canada) when she was five years old. ere she received her education and met her future husband, George Rodgers. As a young couple, the Rodgers became involved in labor activities, and as a result were blacklisted and compelled to relocate many times. us, Elizabeth was forced to balance her desire for domestic tranquility and stability with her commitment to the labor movement. 1891-2016 LIFE INSURANCE, ANNUITIES, FRATERNAL BENEFITS YEARS

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