Rooted in a Lasting Legacy of Service

Posted by Sr. Marjorie Hebert, MSC | January 2018 | 

Dear Friends of Catholic Charities,

Happy New Year and thank you for your continued support! 2018 marks the 300th anniversary of the founding of the City of New Orleans, and subsequently, the 300th anniversary of the Catholic Church in New Orleans. As Archbishop Aymond declared in his homily during the Tricentennial Mass at St. Louis Cathedral earlier this month, “The history of the Catholic Church and the history of the city of New Orleans cannot be separated. They are very much intertwined and have been for 300 years.”

As we celebrate this significant milestone, we must examine our roots and capture the spirit of those first Ursuline nuns, impelled by the love and teaching of Jesus Christ, in serving the most vulnerable in our community.

In 1727, nine years after New Orleans’ founding, 12 Ursuline nuns arrived in the Crescent City. The Ursuline sisters founded an academy dedicated to the education of young women regardless of social class or race, an orphanage, served as an infirmary during the Battle of New Orleans, treating both American and British wounded soldiers, welcomed the Acadians after the British banned them from Canada, treated malaria and yellow fever among the slave population, started the first school of music in New Orleans and generally served as the charitable arm of the Catholic Church. Nearly three centuries later, this work continues as Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Each and every one of you are a part of this legacy of care for the needy by the Catholic Church in New Orleans. Although the size and scope of services offered by Catholic Charities have continually changed to meet the needs of the community, the motivation has not.

We respect the dignity and potential of all people, advocate for the voiceless, and aim to empower the vulnerable because we are called to. As a New Year brings an entirely new set of challenges, let us remember and take strength from the fact that our collective faith has seen us through the birth of this city and beyond.

Thank you for being an important piece of this 300-year legacy of service.

Happy New Year to you and your families!

God bless you,

Sr. Marjorie Signature
Sr. Marjorie Hebert, MSC