On Friday, October 6, 2017, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family continued their 175th anniversary celebration with a Youth Mass, 10:00AM at
St. Mary’s Academy. New Orleans Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond served as celebrant of the Mass with concelebrants Father Daniel Green and Father Howard Byrd and homilist Father Tony Ricard.
More than 500 students representing schools throughout the Archdiocese of New Orleans were in attendance as well as a host of priests, deacons, Sisters of the Holy Family and invited guests. Schools present at the Mass included St. Mary’s Academy, St. Augustine High School, Katharine Drexel Prep, St. Peter Claver, Jesuit, Holy Cross, Archbishop Rummel, De la Salle High School, St. Leo the Great, St. Joan of Arc, Archbishop Chapelle, St. Rita and St. Michael School.
Twenty years before the Civil War of the United States, and before it was legal for such a congregation to exist, the Sisters of the Holy Family were founded in New Orleans by Venerable Henriette Delille, a free woman of color and co-founders Juliette Gaudin and Josephine Charles. The congregation dedicated their lives to teaching the slaves, caring for the elderly and the most abject of society.
Since their founding in 1842, the Sisters have been the faces of love, mercy and compassion to people all over the world including the United States, Belize, Central America, and Africa. Additionally, they have faithfully ministered in schools, parishes, nursing homes, prisons and housing for the elderly.
“The Sisters of the Holy Family have a rich legacy of caring and sharing with and for the people of God,” said SMA president and alumna Sr. Clare of Assisi Pierre, SSF who served for 13 years in Belize. “This Mass, dedicated to our youth, is a great way to acknowledge and celebrate the commitment that the Sisters made 175 years ago.”
Those sentiments were echoed by St. Mary’s Academy principal Sr. Jennie Jones, SSF, a 1970 alumna of the Academy.
“As one of the oldest private Catholic schools in the nation, we are exceedingly grateful to the Sisters of the Holy Family and foundress Venerable Henriette Delille for their foresight, perseverance and continued guidance,” said Sr. Jennie Jones, SSF. “This celebration is an opportunity for our youth in the city to come together and reflect on the blessings of our past, recognize the many opportunities of our present and work toward an even brighter future.”
You may download a copy of the Youth Mass Program by clicking the link below;