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What is a House of Hospitality?

October 30, 2009

By Sister Carolyn B.

Two Sisters of Mercy and a Candidate welcomed me to their recently formed House of Hospitality in New Orleans this week.  A House of Hospitality is a place where a woman exploring the possibility of religious life can experience first hand what a Mercy community is like. We had a wonderful time sharing our stories and exploring ways that we can share our life and spirituality.

  • One Sister’s ministry is with an agency that builds low-income housing.
  • Another Sister teaches theology at nearby Loyola University.
  • The Candidate is serving low-income people in a mobile health care unit.  She is also studying theology in the evenings.

Each of them had exciting stories to tell as they came home in the evening.

Over pizza one evening we looked at possible ways that they could welcome students from the university to their home.  We considered the idea of inviting them to come for a half hour of prayer one night a week.

While in New Orleans, I got to see the areas that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina and visit two sites where a non-profit organization was rehabilitating houses.  They told me that there are still about 1000 families whose homes are not ready for them to live in yet.  I talked with three groups who welcome volunteers to help with housing.

Has anyone out there done some volunteer work in New Orleans?  I’d love to hear how it went.

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