We have some sad news. Anne Byrne rscj passed away on Sunday morning Jan 8. She collapsed leaving Mass and despite the best efforts of police, EMTs and the caring staff of University Hospital she could not be revived. We are in shock at the loss and appreciate the prayers and support of DH friends here and around the country. Anne welcomed her last student group Sat evening. That group, from St. Anselm's College in Manchester NH has been a great support to Duchesne House staff. They continued with their rebuilding efforts with SBP and dedicated their week to her. She would have been pleased.
A sharing of memories Jan 20 at the neighborhood Community Bookstore brought together people from all parts of New Orleans and from all over the US. Anne seemed to have made friends and formed ties with diverse populations – young adults, African American activists, local business people, and members of Sacred Heart organizations: Associates, Sodality members, educators, and local nonprofit leaders. We were able to welcome her sister Sue, nieces Anne, Susan and Jessica, nephew Jack and her grandniece Taylor and other friends from the East, Midwest and West coast.
Her funeral was Jan. 21st at her favorite church: Our Lady of Guadalupe/International Shrine of St. Jude where she had brought many of the Duchesne House volunteers for the 9:30 Gospel Mass. Pastor Tony Rigoli, OMI and the Gospel choir gave Anne a rousing send off. Anne had been signed up for the local Women’s March which took place at the same time as her funeral. After the Mass and a reception her ashes were transported to Grand Coteau Louisiana for burial. A prayer service was held in the Convent of the Sacred Heart chapel of the Sacred Heart schools there. After the service a sharing of memories was held at the Thenstead center and Anne’s work in Grand Coteau at the Convent of the Sacred Heart as head of the upper school and in Opelousas with the New Life Center for homeless women and children over many years was celebrated. We will miss her as will the many groups who enjoyed her warm welcome and enthusiastic hospitality at Duchesne House for the last four years.