The idea of a collaborative ministry among the sisters of the Conference of Presentation Sisters, to serve those made poor, emerged at a meeting of the Conference in the summer of 2003.
When the invitation to the members across North America was issued, eight sisters entered a discernment process in December 2004. This process resulted in a decision that five sisters would begin the Collaborative Ministry Project (CMP) in New Orleans, Louisiana, in September 2005.
Because of the devastating Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005, the starting time was delayed. Thanks to the Union Sisters, the CMP sisters were housed in Robertsdale, Alabama until they were able to return to New Orleans several months later. For almost two years they were able provide services to individuals returning to the city through the use of a single trailer that was temporarily placed in the parking lot of St. Joseph Church. Then, in August 2007, Lantern Light, together with the Vincentian Community at St. Joseph Church, and the Jesuits, under the Harry Tompson Center, partnered to open the Rebuild Center on August 26, 2007.
For almost a decade the Presentation Sisters made a huge impact in the New Orleans community. In 2015, the conference decided that the remaining members of the CMP, Sisters. Enid and Vera, would find another way to continue the work of their founder Nano Nagle. As a result, their illustration of selflessness would propel several laity to carry on the ministry. Nano Nagle’s words “spend yourselves for the poor” continue to be lived out each day in many forms of ministry at Lantern Light. Because of the faith and love of the people they serve, the ministers receive much more than they give.
Sisters who previously served at Lantern Light:
- Vera Butler, U.S. Province of the Union
- Enid Storey, New Windsor, N.Y.
- Beth Driscoll, Dubuque, Iowa
- Marie Roche, St. John’s, Newfoundland
- Joan White, St. John’s, Newfoundland
- Mary Dennis Lentsch, Dubuque, Iowa
- Phyllis Gill, Aberdeen, S.D.
- Maureen Nolan, U.S. Province of the Union
- Delores Cooney, English Province of the Union
- Anna Raimon, New Windsor, N.Y.