Venerable Henriette Delille Mass, parade Nov. 19-20

    The Sisters of the Holy Family will celebrate the Annual Henriette Delille Mass, their 169th anniversary and the renaming of eight blocks of St. Claude Street in honor of their foundress Henriette Delille on Nov. 19 and 20.
    The celebration will begin with a Mass Nov. 19 at 4 p.m. in honor of Venerable Henriette at their Motherhouse, 6901 Chef Menteur Blvd. It will continue with the anniversary celebration Nov. 20 at 10 a.m. at St. Augustine Church, followed by a parade down the street renamed after Venerable Henriette.
    The Sisters of the Holy Family were founded in 1842 by Henriette Delille, a free woman of color. She acted as sponsor for the baptism of many slave children, free men and women of color and whites. She also cared for the sick and elderly, provided food for the poor and homeless and instructed many in the teachings of the Catholic faith.
    At about the age of 24, Mother Henriette had a religious experience and wrote this simple prayer in her book of devotions which guided her life: “I believe in God. I hope in God. I love. I want to live and die for God.”
    Mother Henriette has been recognized by the church as a woman of heroic virtue. On March 27, she was proclaimed venerable by Pope Benedict. She is the first U.S. native-born African-American whose cause has been accepted by Rome. The City Council voted this summer to rename eight blocks of St. Claude Street as Henriette Delille Street.

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