The St. Genevieve Catholic Church Racial Harmony Ministry in Bayou Liberty, near Slidell, recently sponsored a heritage tour for people who wanted to learn more about Venerable Henriette Delille, founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans.
The Sisters of the Holy Family taught in Bayou Liberty at Sacred Heart School. According to Sister Doris Goudeaux, a new school for grades kindergarten through eight was built in 1961 and the school's name was changed to St. Linus Elementary School. St. Linus Church’s parish merged in the early 1970s with St. Genevieve's.
The tour began with the celebration of the Mass at the Motherhouse in New Orleans, followed by a breakfast with the nuns. Sister Geneva James gave the group an overview of their foundress, who was declared "venerable" in 2010, and the cause for her canonization.
Parishioners were able to meet with Sister Laurita Oliver, who was a teacher at Sacred Heart School from September 1958 to 1967. Noreen DeBlanc, co-leader of the St. Genevieve Racial Harmony Ministry, was taught by Sister Laurita.
“She was my first-grade teacher," DeBlanc said. "I remember when she came to our house for my grandmother's wake."
The group also visited with Sister Maria Gonzales, a member of their community who joined the order of nuns.
The group then went to the Old Ursuline Convent for a guided tour of "One Soul, One Heart: The Legacy of Mother Henriette Delille." The exhibit celebrates the order's 175 anniversary with a display of archives, artifacts, a historical timeline and photos on view through Sept. 1.
The Sisters of the Holy Family were founded in New Orleans in 1842. They have served in Belize, Central America and Nigeria, and minister in schools, nursing homes and prisons and provide for the elderly. More information is available at www.sistersoftheholyfamily.com.
For information on future tours and events, contact the St. Genevieve Racial Harmony Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit stgenevieve.us. The ministry is part of the Northshore Racial Harmony Ministry, an inter-parish fellowship in St. Tammany Parish that is active with the Archdiocese of New Orleans Office of Racial Harmony. For information, email email@example.com.