You are here

RSCJ and Ursuline Sisters honor Philippine Duchesne

Sr. Bonnie Kearny, RSCJ and Ursuline Sr. Regina Marie Fronmuller, OSU (SRM) work together to honor their religious communities' connection to St. Rose Philippine Duchesne by sponsoring the rebuilding of a house in New Orleans affected by the devestating tornado in February 2017.  Ms. Nannie, the local homeowner was thrilled to welcome us to the work site to share the progress done by SBP, originally the Saint Bernanrd Project, the disaster management organization responsible for the rebuilding the homes of more than 1,300 families since 2006 with the help of more than 180,000 volunteers, including many who have stayed at Duchesne House.  Although none of our visiting groups have worked on the house, pending the completion of some plumbing and electrical projects, the RSCJ and Ursuline communities are eager to contiue their collaborative efforts, ready to include physical work to the rebuilding that already includes financial and spiritual support.  We were struck by the resiliency and profound faith of Ms. Nannie as she recounted the harrowing details of that day.  Ms. Nannie spoke of being at work and on the phone with her frightened daughter, neither of whom realized the tornado was headed directly for their house.  She shared that as her daughter grabbed her own young child to run for the safety of the bathroom, the tornado slammed into their home, throwing mother and child face-up into the tub.  Our collective hearts skipped a beat as Ms. Nannie then shared how her daughter felt the child in her arms begin to rise, pulled upward by the force of the tornado, grabbing tightly to the child's hand as he was taken up, shouting to God for help.  Somehow the powerful wind shifted and the child dropped back onto her chest.  They were both safe.  The house, however was severly damaged, the roof completely torn off.  As we shared a lunch with Ms. Nannie, her gratitude matched our enthusiasm to help.  Stay tuned for updates on our progress as we ask for Philippine's guidance in this Bicentennial Year of Prayer, that like Philippine, we too may seek to respond to the call to Discover and Reveal the love of God.