The following news release was issued Thursday, Oct. 18, the Cenacle Sisters:
The Cenacle Retreat House in Metairie announced today that it will be closing its doors and selling the property.
The main factor that led to this announcement is that there are not enough Cenacle Sisters to continue to minister at Metairie. In addition, the Cenacle, like everyone in this economy, is experiencing a substantial diminishment of financial resources, and the high cost of maintaining the facility grows ever more difficult.
“Congregations of sisters and their ministries have undergone significant changes, particularly in personnel and finances. Cenacle Sisters in North America have met over many months to engage in studies, discussion and prayer about our situation,” said Sister Rose Hoover, r.c., Superior of the Metairie Cenacle. “As a result of this long study and discernment, the North American Province of the Cenacle recommended to our General Government in Rome that the Metairie house be closed and the property sold. Our international leadership has accepted this recommendation,” she added.
The Cenacle Sisters will continue their ministries of retreats, spirituality programs, hospitality, individual retreats and spiritual direction at least until the middle of 2013. Sister Mary Sharon Riley, r.c., Province Councilor and contact said, “We are in the preliminary stages that are part of selling a property and have no concrete information at this date. While this is a time of great sadness for us, it is also a time of gratitude. We are grateful to God who has allowed us to minister to so many people for so many years. We have been blessed to be part of the greater New Orleans community – and beyond – for such a long time.”
Since the Cenacle Sisters came to Metairie in 1958, the ministries of retreats, faith formation, and spiritual direction flourished and have touched the lives of thousands of people who came from near and far. “It has been a privilege for us to welcome and serve so many people in the joys, sorrows, and search for meaning in their lives,” said Sister Gloria Haagensen, r.c., Coordinator of Ministry at the Metairie Cenacle.
Saint Therese Couderc and Father Stephen Terme founded the Cenacle Sisters, a congregation of religious women, in 1826 in the small French village of La Louvesc. Their charism is rooted in the first Cenacle (Upper Room) in Jerusalem where Mary, the apostles, and others close to Jesus prayed and awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit after the Ascension of Jesus into heaven, and then were sent out to spread the Gospel to the world. In the spirit of that first Cenacle, the Cenacle Sisters live a life of prayer, community, and ministry.
According to their mission statement, they “work for the transformation of the world by awakening and deepening faith with and for the people of our times.” The Cenacle Sisters live out their charism through the ministries of retreats, spiritual direction, prayer enrollments and adult faith formation. They continue to minister in Chicago, throughout the United States, and in 14 other countries.
In addition to the Cenacle Sisters – women religious who live in community and take the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience – the congregation has other forms of association. Cenacle Auxiliaries are vowed women who live Cenacle spirituality in the secular world. Affiliates/Companions are women and men, single or married, who also live the Cenacle spirituality.