Sisters of the Holy Family emulate foundress

ssf_anniversary_mass17861 Their ministries include educating the young at St. John Berchmans Early Childhood Program and St. Mary’s Academy; befriending the elderly residents of Delille Inn and St. John Berchmans Manor; shepherding Lafon Nursing Facility – the oldest continuously operating Catholic residence of its kind in the U.S.; and giving spiritual counsel to inmates at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women at St. Gabriel.
But perhaps not as well-known is the tender care the New Orleans-founded Sisters of the Holy Family extend to the hungry and homeless who show up at their Chef Menteur motherhouse seven days a week.
This daily nourishment – along with more elaborate meals prepared for the hungry on Thanksgiving and other days – are performed in direct emulation of Sisters of the Holy Family foundress Venerable Henriette Delille, who tended to the elderly, sick and disenfranchised of the city during the era of slavery.
“Whoever comes to the door, we feed them and that’s all day long – breakfast, lunch and supper,” said Sister of the Holy Family Greta Jupiter, reflecting on the legacy of Mother Delille before the Nov. 19 Mass of Thanksgiving marking the sisters’ 175th anniversary.
The congregation currently numbers 84 professed sisters, three junior professed sisters, one novice and one postulant. However, the 366 sisters now deceased were high on Sister Greta’s mind as she helped usher Mass attendees to their pews for the Mass inside the packed motherhouse chapel.
“I feel a lot of respect and admiration for all the sisters who have gone ahead of us, who have led the way so that we could now have 175 years to celebrate – all those persons who have dedicated their lives in service to the people,” said Sister Greta, congregational leader. “Our desire – and it was Henriette Delille’s desire – is to always be there for the poor, the needy and the marginalized of society. That has always been the priority.” Servant of elderly, enslaved
Principal celebrant and homilist, Archbishop Gregory Aymond, said Jesus’ words, in the liturgy’s Gospel reading from St. John – reminding his disciples that they are no longer slaves but friends – “took flesh” in Henriette Delille. Jesus goes on to tell his apostles that “it was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.”
“She became a witness of what these words mean,” said the archbishop, pointing to Mother Henriette’s courage in 1842 in establishing the religious order with her fellow women of color, Juliette Gaudin and Josephine Charles, to care for and catechize slaves, free people of color, the sick, the elderly and other marginalized groups in the face of extreme racial and cultural division.
“She loved them with her own hands and heart; she taught them about Jesus and brought the Scriptures to them,” he said. “Henriette Delille could have very easily given up and become hopeless and discouraged. She could have said, ‘This dream will never become realized.’ But she knew, deep in her heart, that God had a plan for her and that as a humble person, she could serve the church.”
The congregation traces its official origins to 1842 – nearly a quarter century before the Emancipation Proclamation – when Mother Henriette purchased a home where women of color could live in community to further their ministry of assisting the sick and dying and catechizing the uninstructed, often by becoming a godmother. New Orleans Bishop Antoine Blanc “heard her cry and took her very seriously,” Archbishop Aymond said.
The community’s first rule was written even earlier – in 1836 – when they formed a pious group of women, not yet living under the same roof, known as the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Their motto was “one heart, one soul,” based on Acts 4:34 and the rule of St. Augustine.
Other aspects of Mother Henriette’s legacy – and the sisters’ – include the reminder that all are called to become humble servants to those in need and to battle racism in the hope of bringing “the justice of God” to fruition, the archbishop said.
“(Henriette) tells us that wherever there are divisions in the community, we must become the peacemakers, the instruments of peace,” he said. Praying for sainthood
Before the Mass, Sister of the Holy Family Leona Bruner, first general councilor, presented an update on the cause for Mother Henriette’s beatification and canonization. Venerable Henriette was accepted as a candidate for sainthood by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome 28 years ago, becoming the first U.S.-born, African-American whose cause for canonization was officially opened by the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI declared her venerable on March 27, 2010.
For the last six years the sisters and their extended family of supporters have been praying for an authenticated miracle to take the cause to the next stage, with hopes that an alleged miracle involving the healing of a seriously ill college student in Little Rock, Arkansas, will be accepted.
“The young student was healed, graduated from college and is doing very well,” Sister Leona said. “As soon as the inquiry is completed, the doctors in Rome will study the medical records. This could be the authenticated miracle we need for beatification. We hope, pray and wait for the day when we can say ‘Blessed Henriette’ and then ‘St. Henriette.’”
Upcoming anniversary events include a novena to the Holy Family, Dec. 21-29; the Feast of the Holy Family on Dec. 30; commemorative Masses throughout the archdiocese; historical bus tours; and feedings of the homeless at various locations. The anniversary year will close with Mass at St. Louis Cathedral on Nov. 19, 2017. For a complete list of anniversary year activities, visit www.sistersoftheholy family.com.
Beth Donze can be reached at bdonze@clarionherald.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Their ministries include educating the young at St. John Berchmans Early Childhood Program and St. Mary’s Academy; befriending the elderly residents of Delille Inn and St. John Berchmans Manor; shepherding Lafon Nursing Facility – the oldest continuously operating Catholic residence of its kind in the U.S.; and giving spiritual counsel to inmates at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women at St. Gabriel.
But perhaps not as well-known is the tender care the New Orleans-founded Sisters of the Holy Family extend to the hungry and homeless who show up at their Chef Menteur motherhouse seven days a week.
This daily nourishment – along with more elaborate meals prepared for the hungry on Thanksgiving and other days – are performed in direct emulation of Sisters of the Holy Family foundress Venerable Henriette Delille, who tended to the elderly, sick and disenfranchised of the city during the era of slavery.
“Whoever comes to the door, we feed them and that’s all day long – breakfast, lunch and supper,” said Sister of the Holy Family Greta Jupiter, reflecting on the legacy of Mother Delille before the Nov. 19 Mass of Thanksgiving marking the sisters’ 175th anniversary.
The congregation currently numbers 84 professed sisters, three junior professed sisters, one novice and one postulant. However, the 366 sisters now deceased were high on Sister Greta’s mind as she helped usher Mass attendees to their pews for the Mass inside the packed motherhouse chapel.
“I feel a lot of respect and admiration for all the sisters who have gone ahead of us, who have led the way so that we could now have 175 years to celebrate – all those persons who have dedicated their lives in service to the people,” said Sister Greta, congregational leader. “Our desire – and it was Henriette Delille’s desire – is to always be there for the poor, the needy and the marginalized of society. That has always been the priority.” Servant of elderly, enslaved
Principal celebrant and homilist, Archbishop Gregory Aymond, said Jesus’ words, in the liturgy’s Gospel reading from St. John – reminding his disciples that they are no longer slaves but friends – “took flesh” in Henriette Delille. Jesus goes on to tell his apostles that “it was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.”
“She became a witness of what these words mean,” said the archbishop, pointing to Mother Henriette’s courage in 1842 in establishing the religious order with her fellow women of color, Juliette Gaudin and Josephine Charles, to care for and catechize slaves, free people of color, the sick, the elderly and other marginalized groups in the face of extreme racial and cultural division.
“She loved them with her own hands and heart; she taught them about Jesus and brought the Scriptures to them,” he said. “Henriette Delille could have very easily given up and become hopeless and discouraged. She could have said, ‘This dream will never become realized.’ But she knew, deep in her heart, that God had a plan for her and that as a humble person, she could serve the church.”
The congregation traces its official origins to 1842 – nearly a quarter century before the Emancipation Proclamation – when Mother Henriette purchased a home where women of color could live in community to further their ministry of assisting the sick and dying and catechizing the uninstructed, often by becoming a godmother. New Orleans Bishop Antoine Blanc “heard her cry and took her very seriously,” Archbishop Aymond said.
The community’s first rule was written even earlier – in 1836 – when they formed a pious group of women, not yet living under the same roof, known as the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Their motto was “one heart, one soul,” based on Acts 4:34 and the rule of St. Augustine.
Other aspects of Mother Henriette’s legacy – and the sisters’ – include the reminder that all are called to become humble servants to those in need and to battle racism in the hope of bringing “the justice of God” to fruition, the archbishop said.
“(Henriette) tells us that wherever there are divisions in the community, we must become the peacemakers, the instruments of peace,” he said. Praying for sainthood
Before the Mass, Sister of the Holy Family Leona Bruner, first general councilor, presented an update on the cause for Mother Henriette’s beatification and canonization. Venerable Henriette was accepted as a candidate for sainthood by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome 28 years ago, becoming the first U.S.-born, African-American whose cause for canonization was officially opened by the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI declared her venerable on March 27, 2010.
For the last six years the sisters and their extended family of supporters have been praying for an authenticated miracle to take the cause to the next stage, with hopes that an alleged miracle involving the healing of a seriously ill college student in Little Rock, Arkansas, will be accepted.
“The young student was healed, graduated from college and is doing very well,” Sister Leona said. “As soon as the inquiry is completed, the doctors in Rome will study the medical records. This could be the authenticated miracle we need for beatification. We hope, pray and wait for the day when we can say ‘Blessed Henriette’ and then ‘St. Henriette.’”
Upcoming anniversary events include a novena to the Holy Family, Dec. 21-29; the Feast of the Holy Family on Dec. 30; commemorative Masses throughout the archdiocese; historical bus tours; and feedings of the homeless at various locations. The anniversary year will close with Mass at St. Louis Cathedral on Nov. 19, 2017. For a complete list of anniversary year activities, visit www.sistersoftheholy family.com.
Beth Donze can be reached at bdonze@clarionherald.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 Their ministries include educating the young at St. John Berchmans Early Childhood Program and St. Mary’s Academy; befriending the elderly residents of Delille Inn and St. John Berchmans Manor; shepherding Lafon Nursing Facility – the oldest continuously operating Catholic residence of its kind in the U.S.; and giving spiritual counsel to inmates at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women at St. Gabriel.
But perhaps not as well-known is the tender care the New Orleans-founded Sisters of the Holy Family extend to the hungry and homeless who show up at their Chef Menteur motherhouse seven days a week.
This daily nourishment – along with more elaborate meals prepared for the hungry on Thanksgiving and other days – are performed in direct emulation of Sisters of the Holy Family foundress Venerable Henriette Delille, who tended to the elderly, sick and disenfranchised of the city during the era of slavery.
“Whoever comes to the door, we feed them and that’s all day long – breakfast, lunch and supper,” said Sister of the Holy Family Greta Jupiter, reflecting on the legacy of Mother Delille before the Nov. 19 Mass of Thanksgiving marking the sisters’ 175th anniversary.

weigel_tulane1168_lead
The congregation currently numbers 84 professed sisters, three junior professed sisters, one novice and one postulant. However, the 366 sisters now deceased were high on Sister Greta’s mind as she helped usher Mass attendees to their pews for the Mass inside the packed motherhouse chapel.
“I feel a lot of respect and admiration for all the sisters who have gone ahead of us, who have led the way so that we could now have 175 years to celebrate – all those persons who have dedicated their lives in service to the people,” said Sister Greta, congregational leader. “Our desire – and it was Henriette Delille’s desire – is to always be there for the poor, the needy and the marginalized of society. That has always been the priority.” Servant of elderly, enslaved
Principal celebrant and homilist, Archbishop Gregory Aymond, said Jesus’ words, in the liturgy’s Gospel reading from St. John – reminding his disciples that they are no longer slaves but friends – “took flesh” in Henriette Delille. Jesus goes on to tell his apostles that “it was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.”

 

“She became a witness of what these words mean,” said the archbishop, pointing to Mother Henriette’s courage in 1842 in establishing the religious order with her fellow women of color, Juliette Gaudin and Josephine Charles, to care for and catechize slaves, free people of color, the sick, the elderly and other marginalized groups in the face of extreme racial and cultural division.
“She loved them with her own hands and heart; she taught them about Jesus and brought the Scriptures to them,” he said. “Henriette Delille could have very easily given up and become hopeless and discouraged. She could have said, ‘This dream will never become realized.’ But she knew, deep in her heart, that God had a plan for her and that as a humble person, she could serve the church.”
The congregation traces its official origins to 1842 – nearly a quarter century before the Emancipation Proclamation – when Mother Henriette purchased a home where women of color could live in community to further their ministry of assisting the sick and dying and catechizing the uninstructed, often by becoming a godmother. New Orleans Bishop Antoine Blanc “heard her cry and took her very seriously,” Archbishop Aymond said.
The community’s first rule was written even earlier – in 1836 – when they formed a pious group of women, not yet living under the same roof, known as the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Their motto was “one heart, one soul,” based on Acts 4:34 and the rule of St. Augustine.
Other aspects of Mother Henriette’s legacy – and the sisters’ – include the reminder that all are called to become humble servants to those in need and to battle racism in the hope of bringing “the justice of God” to fruition, the archbishop said.
“(Henriette) tells us that wherever there are divisions in the community, we must become the peacemakers, the instruments of peace,” he said. Praying for sainthood
Before the Mass, Sister of the Holy Family Leona Bruner, first general councilor, presented an update on the cause for Mother Henriette’s beatification and canonization. Venerable Henriette was accepted as a candidate for sainthood by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome 28 years ago, becoming the first U.S.-born, African-American whose cause for canonization was officially opened by the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI declared her venerable on March 27, 2010.
For the last six years the sisters and their extended family of supporters have been praying for an authenticated miracle to take the cause to the next stage, with hopes that an alleged miracle involving the healing of a seriously ill college student in Little Rock, Arkansas, will be accepted.
“The young student was healed, graduated from college and is doing very well,” Sister Leona said. “As soon as the inquiry is completed, the doctors in Rome will study the medical records. This could be the authenticated miracle we need for beatification. We hope, pray and wait for the day when we can say ‘Blessed Henriette’ and then ‘St. Henriette.’”
Upcoming anniversary events include a novena to the Holy Family, Dec. 21-29; the Feast of the Holy Family on Dec. 30; commemorative Masses throughout the archdiocese; historical bus tours; and feedings of the homeless at various locations. The anniversary year will close with Mass at St. Louis Cathedral on Nov. 19, 2017. For a complete list of anniversary year activities, visit www.sistersoftheholy family.com.
Beth Donze can be reached at bdonze@clarionherald.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Please follow and like us:

Site Administrator

➤ Lloyd Robichaux | Site Administrator | Art Director | Webmaster | lrobichaux@clarionherald.org | (504) 596-3024 | Fax: (504) 596-3020

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.