Catholic Alumni Club of Detroit
STORY OF THE CATHOLIC ALUMNI CLUBS
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In the spring of 1940 a group of Marquette University alumni met with Rev. Vincent P. O’Flaherty, SJ, to form an organization for single Catholic university graduates. The Catholic Alumni Club, as it was called, reached a total of 40 members by 1942. The CAC of Milwaukee, temporarily suspended during World War II, has a membership today of 350.
Subsequently, on the West Coast, Sister Mary Reginald, IHM, a professor of history at Hollywood's Immaculate Heart College, saw the need for a means to bring together single young Catholic graduates living in the Los Angeles area. She talked her idea over with a young attorney, Martin McManus, who undertook the formation of a Catholic Alumni Club. The first membership meeting in 1948 was attended by 100 persons.
1954 saw the formation of two more clubs in Southern California, the Harbor and Desert Valley Catholic Alumni Clubs. These clubs joined Los Angeles in 1956, forming the Council of Catholic Alumni Clubs, to plan and coordinate joint activities and extend guest privileges to each other's members. The following year clubs were organized in San Francisco and Sacramento and a similar group, the Catholic University Club of Detroit, became the second Midwestern CAC.
first clubs were joined by others and set the pattern for Catholic
Alumni Club activities throughout the country. Through a full program
of religious, community service, social, recreational, and cultural
activities, CACs offer to young single Catholics in and near
metropolitan areas a chance to meet friends of similar educational and
religious backgrounds. CACs do not compete with but rather supplement
A wealth of leadership talent among members has been an important factor in
CAC’s growth. Because of the group's informality and wide scope of
activities, members have invaluable opportunities to develop abilities for
planning, administration, and decision making. Through Catholic Alumni
Clubs, these young professional people serve their church, their community,
On Labor Day weekend, 1957, some 300 members of the Catholic Alumni Clubs located in California met for the first important joint , CAC event, a camping and social weekend in Yosemite National Park, where club leaders conferred on plans to develop the National Association. The next year, the NACAC constitution and by-laws were ratified, pointing the way toward an expanded national CAC program.
"Holiday in the West", the first National CAC convention, held in 1960 at Colorado Springs, Colorado, was attended by CACers from 16 clubs throughout the nation. Between 4OO and 500 CACers now attend annually, with the location rotated throughout the country.
The clubs now making up the National Association stand ready to welcome new clubs into the Association. An important aim of NACAC is the establishment of a Catholic Alumni Club in every community of over 100,000 population in the country and even in cities outside the United States as well. CAC can be established through the founding of an entirely new club or by encompassing an already established group that desires to become a CAC.
Regional organizations were also formed with NACAC, enabling clubs in the
different areas of the country—— Midwest, East, West, Rocky Mountain, and
Pacific Northwest, to plan joint activities with nearby CACs and pursue
mutual interests. Club development, tours, and the National Convention are
now part of regions’ responsibilities.