Published on January 24, 2017
On January 14, 2017, mentors, mentees, community leaders and many more associated with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans’ Isaiah 43 Parenting and Mentoring program gathered to celebrate another successful year at the annual Peacebuilders Brunch.
The purpose of this annual event is to bring the program’s participants from different schools and parishes together to connect with the overall mission of Isaiah 43: to strengthen and support families to bring about a change in the culture of our society. This year, the brunch was held at Schulte Hall, an event space located at the Notre Dame Seminary, and catered by Café Reconcile. The event was appropriately themed “Everyone has something to give.”
Kristina Gibson, Isaiah 43 Program Director, commended the group on all they were able to accomplish together in the past year. 2016, Isaiah 43 completed 27 parenting and mentoring workshops, logged 500 hours of mentoring activities, completed 25 Peace Prayer Walks and other community events, received 1,000 hours of volunteer support and added 29 new mentees and 10 new mentors.
The program also partnered with Catholic Charities’ Cornerstone Kids, a mentoring program for children with at least one incarcerated parent, to sponsor group activities and complete a new mentor training manual.
“2016 represented a year of growth for Isaiah 43,” Gibson commented. “We focused on strengthening the level of support provided to Isaiah 43 parish ministries through our parish leadership development services, and also added Family Resources to provide more individualized support to our families.”
Participants were also excited to discuss what’s to come in the New Year: additional parenting and mentoring workshops, more group outing, continued monthly Peace Prayer Walks and the addition of new participants, just to name a few.
Last, but most certainly not least, some of the program’s stand-out participants were honored for their commitment, service and support of Isaiah 43. Mrs. Jennifer McGowan received a Peacebuilder Award for being an active parent. Mrs. McGowan, who has participated in the program since its inception in 2012, has not missed a single meeting! She, her husband and their children are all involved in various aspects of Isaiah 43.
Ms. Jeanine Gabriel received a Peacebuilder Award for Outstanding Ministry Leadership. Finally, a Peacebuilder Award for Outstanding Community Partnership was presented to the Peace Center and St. Rita Parish and School.
Speaking to the group, Sr. Marjorie Hebert, President and CEO of Catholic Charities, shared, “Each of us has something planted in us by God to give another. So many of you have given this unique gift planted in you by partnering with us through Isaiah 43.”
We look forward to another year of strengthening families and communities through this wonderful program!