An Opportunity To Give

Do you have goods or services you’d like to donate to raise money for Lantern Light Ministries? Well there is a unique opportunity to make those donations during the month of July to raise funds in August for our cause. Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Company is hosting Auctions in August. Individuals, organizations, and companies are encouraged to donate a gift certificate, unique gift, or priceless item that will attract bidders and help raise funds for your favorite non-profit organization. You can read about it by clicking here. During the month of July, bring your donation valued at $50 or more along with a completed donation form (available here). Making your donation as soon as possible provides the best opportunity to have it listed online and insures the most amount of exposure. Items will be displayed and be available for bids from August 1st through the 29th at Gulf Coast Bank branches as well as online. Download the How to Donate Letter here for more information.


Even if you can’t donate, please check out the after August 1st.  You might find one of your favorite charities the benefactor of your winning bid. Thank you for your continued support of Lantern Light.


Who will keep the lantern burning brightly?

As most of you now know, our Lantern Light staff will be losing three members.  This also means that our community will be losing two sisters.  When we first opened our community in New Orleans, we were a community of 5 and now we are down to two.  Unfortunately, as of right now, no new sisters will be entering into our community.

This is a new and unique challenge for us and we need as much help as possible.  We appreciate our volunteers, Donna, Girlie, and Sylvia for taking on roles with our food bank and art program.  We ask our friends and volunteers to keep our community and our ministry in your prayers.  If you know anyone that is looking to volunteer, please let them know about Lantern Light Ministry.  We will especially need help during lunch time (from 11:30-1:00).  We need a physical presence in our courtyard with our guests as we line them up and feed them.

Please pray for young people to enter into a life of vocation.  Unfortunately, all religious orders are seeing a decline in numbers.  We encourage you to ask those around you if they have considered religious life.  Often, people don’t think of religious life unless someone else points out that they may have gifts to suit the lifestyle.


Please enjoy the song Who Will Light the Lantern as a meditation when praying for our congregation.

Who will Light the Lantern?


It’s not good bye, it’s see you later

This summer will be a summer of changes for Lantern Light Ministry.  Both Srs. Anna and Dolores will be returning to their home communities (Massachusetts and Manchester, respectively). Our AmeriCorps volunteer, Erika, will also be returning to New York.  These three women will be greatly missed as all who have met them have grown to love them.

The silver lining of their departure is the excuse to celebrate!  As pseudo-New Orleanians, we sure do love a reason to celebrate.  The first part of the celebration took place on a Saturday in June.  We invited guests, staff, and volunteers to join us in a game of BINGO and lunch.  The three honorees enjoyed a few hours with the guests ‘work free’ while our volunteers helped prepare lunch and run BINGO.  We ended our joyous afternoon with three rounds of “For she’s a jolly good sister” (person for Erika who is a lay volunteer) led by Sr. Enid.

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A second celebration was held at David Hardin’s home in Belle Chase.  He and his wife hosted a quiet reception to honor Anna, Dolores, and Erika as well as celebrating the wonderful volunteers who have joined the Lantern Light Family. It was an evening of laughter and, most importantly, love.

Lantern Light Logo cookies for our girls!
Lantern Light Logo cookies for our girls!

We can’t thank Anna, Dolores, and Erika enough for the impact they’ve had on the center, on our ministry, and on our volunteers.  To say they will be missed is an understatement.

Sr. Dolores will be leaving to Manchester on June 27th, Anna and Erika will be leaving to the Northeast on the very beginning of August.


Summer Closing

The Rebuild Center will be closed from August 4th-15th.  The center will reopen on Monday, August 18th.

If you have any scheduling questions, please contact Sr. Vera. Please let your friends and families know about volunteering with Lantern Light Ministry at the Rebuild Center!




Sr. Vera Butler, Hibernian of the Year 2014

Sr. Vera was honored as the 2014 Hibernian of the Year by the Ancient Order of the Hibernians on March 17th, 2014.  This video, made by WYES  New Orleans, was presented before Sr. Vera was to formally receive the honor and deliver her acceptance speech.

Enjoy and share to understand a little bit more about Sr. Vera, the Presentation Sisters, The Rebuild Center, and of their Foundress Nano Nagle.


Sr. Vera Hibernian of the Year 2014


Reflections from Arkansas

When the St. Leo’s church group was here on their “Spring Break On” trip, we asked them to take a few minutes and jot down a reflection about their experience at the Rebuild Center. This small group of students served with Lantern Light for three days and helped us out tremendously.  They did a little gardening for us, a whole lot of chopping (in preparation for the Fish Fry), and they gathered our guests around a guitar and sang for and WITH them.  We look forward to welcoming them back to our center in the future!



“When I first heard we would be doing service that helped the homeless, I envisioned a place that was cold and made of cinder blocks.  This place was completely opposite of anything that I could have imagined.  The center provides everything that people with homes forget they need.  The fact that you can get your mail there was awe-inspiring for me.  Things like showers and phones are blessings when you don’t have a place to call home.  The guest themselves are more hopeful than I thought they would be.  Everyone has a story.  They all have hopes and this is just a pause on their journey.  The center helps people who have reached their bottom to reach for something more.

The Center itself gives off an atmosphere of happiness and peace that comes from the building as well as the volunteers.  The architecture itself really made an impact on me because the city is so gray that a pop of color is enough to lift the spirit.

This haven that I was lucky enough to spend my Spring Break at was greater than I could imagine and completely opposite of a cinder block cell. “


“The Rebuild Center is a place of compassion and hope.  The people who work there every day choose to live a life of holiness and humbleness.  I have been very impressed by the amount of organization the Center keeps and the way it has been run.  My favorite aspect of the center is the atmosphere it has.  It truly is a “recovery: center in every aspect, where individuals can come and rest, and feel safe about themselves in a faith-filled environment.  I’m so very thankful that I’ve been able to volunteer at and encounter this beautiful place, and I know that God has a hand in every aspect of it.”



“My experience at the Rebuild Center throughout this week has been an eye opening experience to say in the least.  The individuals I have met while volunteering here have been some of the most positive people.  I have been able to meet people who I will always remember in my life and in my prayers.  I can only hope that one day I can bring about the hope and faith that this institution has brought.  The center is more than a shelter or a place to be fed, it has become a loving community in which each guest is a part of.  I cannot express the amount of gratitude I have for this center and everything it does for the less fortunate.”


“My time here at Lantern Light Ministries has truly been a humbling and rejuvenating experience.  When I entered the center for the first time, I didn’t really know what to expect. As Sister Vera talked to us about how the Center ran, I was blow away.  It was wonderful to see so many people doing the work of God.  As my time progressed, serving at the Center, I had to the chance to speak to some of the individuals that utilize the services offered…Wow!  We, as humans, can learn so much from those who have little.  The responsorial psalm for Sunday is “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” I was hit like a ton of bricks.  There are so many things I want in this life and sometimes I am too focused on the future events.  Being here in New Orleans, at Lantern Light, has caused some reflecting and reevaluating on my behalf.  Like the song says, “I once was blind, but now I see!”


“It has been a magnificent blessing to have a spring break “on” (not a spring break off) and to come to New Orleans to help out with the Center.  Through small projects, I feel like I can help this wonderful ministry.  When I think of servitude and giving back, one word continuously pops into my head: LOVE.  That is exactly what I have witnessed these past couple of days with the service we have tried to do. All of the sisters and volunteers at Lantern Light Ministry have given so much of their time, talents, and efforts to help the guests at the Center and to provide things they may not have been able to get easily.  For what?  For love. Service brings joy to the soul.  When our group spend part of the day playing guitar and singing, it felt like nothing much, but hearing from the guests how much they appreciated it, my heart was filled with happiness.  And if one small thing like singing can make an impact, then what else can we do when our hearts are on fire and we put our mind to serving and loving others the way Jesus graciously did?”



“During my stay in New Orleans I volunteered by helping out in the Rebuild Center.  It really opened my eyes to different things.  I had never been on any mission trip before this, I didn’t know what to expect!  The first day I ended up helping in the kitchen.  We chopped over 8 cabbages for the fish fry that would be happening on Friday.  We also helped pass out fliers and landscape the garden.  The second day I helped in the kitchen again!  I really enjoyed being in there since I enjoy cooking.  We ended up cutting apples and more cabbage.  While in the kitchen, I noticed a big amount of organization.  The organization didn’t stop in the kitchen, it happened throughout the center!  There are many volunteers who come daily and help (which is magnificent).  The center also has restrooms, showers, meals, and a post box people can use to receive mail.  Seeing all the thigns some may take for granted like showers and restrooms really got me thinking.  People don’t think of some common necessities others may need like the simples thing as a shower.  In the center I noticed two little girls around three years old who were so excited to receive a bottle of juice.  This made me smile but it also upset me, these children were happy with the simplest things while others cried over the wrong color juice or the mom didn’t get the one with their favorite character on the box.  Some people also shared their past with me.  A few had college degrees and others just had a great mindset.  They wanted to rebuild their life through God.  A man, lets call him Tim, said “ I won’t blame others for the mistakes I’ve made. No one makes you do anything you don’t want to do!”.  Tim told us many things and even sang along with us.  Singing to everyone there really was great because you could tell they appreciated it and enjoyed it.  Overall my experience here has made me want to come back and help out in any way I can!”


“I have been to a lot of volunteer centers that help with different things.  When I first saw the Rebuild Center I was astonished on how amazing it looked!  I would have never imagined looking that amazing, I was speechless.  The Rebuild Center has been able to create an incredible atmosphere.  It is so united and well organized, that it has impressed me.  It is definitely one of the best volunteer centers that I have ever been to.  The last couple of days that I have spent with the staff and the guests has been one of the most amazing times I have ever spent anywhere.  All these memories I have created with the staff and guests I will cherish for a very long time.  I couldn’t imagine spending my spring break anywhere else!  I am very grateful for the opportunity that has been given to me.  There are no words that can explain all of the amazing things that the Rebuild Center stands for.  Thank you for everything that is done here and for all of the memories that I have made here!”


Fifth Annual Fish Fry is a Success…even in the rain

Oh boy, the skies sure did open up on New Orleans today!  It down poured incessantly, but we still carried on.  Although we did not meet our goal of 2000 plates to be sold due to the weather, we are had a wonderful time.  We can’t thank our volunteers and all of those who donated food enough for what their contributions to the fish fry.  A very special thank you to our Fish Fry committee: David Hardin, Justin Kennedy, Matt Murphy, and Sr. Vera!


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