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Sister Carla Dolce: In need of a small miracle
Re: “Shrine of the Times: Sister Carla Dolce and the battle of hope,” Cast of Characters column, by George Gurtner. September 2012 issue.

I greatly enjoyed your article on Sr. Carla Dolce, O.S.U. It truly captured her unique, funny and yet compassionate personality. She is passionate about her city, New Orleans, her vocation as an Ursuline sister, the spiritual and physical needs of all our city’s residents and, of course, the Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, the Patroness of our city.

The citizens of New Orleans came together during and after the Battle of New Orleans in 1812 to pray for protection of our city, to thank Our Lady of Prompt Succor and her Son for the miraculous success of General Jackson and his forces and to ask for continued protection of our much loved city. Now again, the citizens of our city need to join together to ask Our Lady to protect our city from today’s dangers and to help assist Sr. Carla to raise the needed funds to repair the shrine. After two hurricanes and more than 80 years of use, the shrine needs termite remediation, roof repairs and waterproofing. I hope all citizens will help support this preservation work. The Shrine is a vital part of New Orleans, historically and spiritually. We need another “small miracle” to make these repairs a reality. You can contact Sr. Carla by visiting ShrineOfOurLadyOfPromptSuccor.com, at 2734 Nashville Ave., New Orleans, LA 70115 or by calling 861-4686.

Joan Gisevius Johnson
New Orleans

What a wonderful article the Cast of Characters was! The “Shrine of the Times” was a very timely article because the Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor is such a special part of the history of our city and our nation. It is also in urgent need of repair.

Thank you for increasing our awareness about the Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor and giving us an opportunity to contribute to a vibrant and vital part of our heritage.

Maureen McKay Poche
New Orleans

Many thanks to New Orleans Magazine and to writer George Gurtner for the column in the September issue titled “Shrine of the Times.” While Mr. Gurtner centered his work on me, in truth, many men and women are working to bring much-needed repairs to today’s National Shrine in Uptown New Orleans. This shrine is linked to an integral part of the history, not only of New Orleans but also of our nation, for in it is honored the original statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. It was in their chapel in the French Quarter, before this statue, that the Ursuline Nuns and many lay people of New Orleans prayed throughout the night of Jan. 8, 1815, for a victory for Gen. Andrew Jackson over a vastly superior British army in what was the defining battle in the War of 1812. It has been in the chapel of the Ursulines, before this statue, that each year for the past 197 years, on Jan. 8, in thanksgiving for Gen. Jackson’s victory which saved New Orleans, that an archbishop of New Orleans has celebrated a solemn Mass. 

In 2015, New Orleans will celebrate the bicentennial of Gen. Jackson’s victory that many historians call, “a final note to the world that America was here to stay!” For the National Shine, too, the 200th anniversary celebration will be very important. But at present our 84-year-old shrine building is in dire need of repairs: parts of it are infested with termites; on rainy days water comes through holes in the roof, which needs replacement; cracks in exterior walls need repair; and the building needs waterproofing. When we have restored the Shrine, we will be ready to celebrate the Bicentennial of the victory of 1815.

I take this opportunity now to thank New Orleans Magazine and to urge citizens of New Orleans to join us in preserving this shrine so important to our city, our state and our nation. Please visit us at our website: ShrineOfOurLadyOfPromptSuccor.com.

Sister Carla Dolce, O.S.U.

Prioress, Ursuline Sisters
New Orleans

Ed. Reply:  We know of no other city where nuns have played such an important role, going back to the early Ursuline Sisters who provided education for girls to nuns through the years who’ve given educational, medical and sociological help. We wish Sister Dolce well and certainly urge support of the shrine.

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