Joined Together in the Mission of Charity

Collaborating in New Orleans: Catholic sisters offer hope, service

Students from Creighton University relax at the House of Charity in New Orleans after a long day of volunteering and learning about the city and its inhabitants. | GSR photo by Dan Stockman

NEW ORLEANS — The yellow house sits in the middle of the block, its blue and white accents bright in the sun. Inside, a group of students on spring break from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, relax on couches and under blankets with several sisters, listening to one young man play the guitar.

The eight college students are friendly but subdued. They have been busy during their stay at the House of Charity, a guest house for church, university and sister groups on mission trips to the area, volunteering at a homeless shelter, gutting a hurricane-damaged home, and learning about the New Orleans that lies beyond the tourist-heavy French Quarter. In this New Orleans, nearly 1 in 4 people live in poverty, there are an estimated 30,000 vacant, blighted properties, and 86 percent of students in public schools are economically disadvantaged.

Several women religious communities have come together in a number of ways in the Big Easy to navigate the area’s unique dynamics of poverty, helping children with educational needs, people with health issues, and projects such as Hotel Hope, which serves women and children experiencing homelessness.

The House of Charity is one product of that collaboration, made possible by the 13 congregations in the Sisters of Charity Federation, which paid for the home for three resident sisters and up to 12 guests in three dorm rooms.

Read full story by Dan Stockman in Global Sisters Report

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