The Sisters have had a presence in ministry at St Leo the Great Parish in Louisiana since 1968. Up to August 2005, they were primarily engaged at the Parochial school and other parish ministries. However, after Hurricane Katrina, this changed as many schools and parishes in the surrounding area were severely damaged. Many parish families lost everything and the church and it’s family became very important to the community at large. (See article Almost 10 years on after Hurricane Katrina…)
The Sisters run a Parish Religious Education Program at St Leo School which has grown year on year since it was established in 2006. In 2014, sixteen students received their First Holy Communion, with twenty students receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Sisters along with a number of volunteers are dedicated to the Ministry of Preaching with includes reflections and Sunday readings.
They also engage in other ministries in the parish. This includes Lectors, Fellowship Committee and assisting wherever possible across justice Issues, crime prevention activities, immigration, human trafficking concerns with other groups.
The Sisters are also engaged in education and teach at St Mary Academy, Elementary Section. This involves the teaching of religion to kindergarten and first grade children. They also fulfill their preaching ministry here with children and colleagues, taking assembly at the beginning of each day where all have the experience of coming together in a quiet prayerful atmosphere to ask for God’s blessing.
Sister Lilianne Flavin, OP works at Hope House in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hope House is a non-profit organisation, founded in 1969 by two Roman Catholic nuns who moved into the St Thomas Housing Development. Its mission is to respond to the hopes and needs of its neighbours and to help create a society in which truth and justice abide.
Hope House’s emergency assistance program provides emergency food, rent and utility support to households in crisis. It also provides advice and referrals to other agencies. Through its adult learning centre, Hope House provides basic adult education and prepares students for the state’s alternative high school diploma. Career Development assists neighbours and students in the adult learning centre to enrol in college and other post-secondary training programs. It also helps them find employment. The after-school youth recreation program provides a safe place for children and teens to play.
Sr. Lilianne visits with women in the Orleans Parish jail, as well as a man on Angola State Penitentiary’s Death Row. As part of the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition, Hope House researches and promotes alternatives to incarceration, including pre-trial services, a day reporting centre, greater use of the summons in lieu of arrest, more efficient court procedures to lessen the length of pre-trial incarceration, and the decriminalisation of a variety of minor, non-violent offenses. The city has begun to experiment with some of these approaches.
Hope House’s Common Grounds Coffee House welcomes homeless people for coffee and pastry three mornings each week. Guests are also welcome to use its six computers and borrow books from its free library. A nearby Catholic Worker community prepares evening meals each week and serves them at the Hope House coffee house. Hope House also maintains two transitional apartments for homeless people.
Hope House also offers poverty and justice workshops to high school, college, church and civic groups.
As a staff, we are committed to living and working with the poor and “to live simply, that others may simply live.”
(See article from Sr Lillian Flavin OP on her work in Hope House)[/vc_column_text]