(Editor’s Note: Earlier this year, Mississippi Catholic requested reflections from the orders of consecrated people serving in the Diocese of Jackson. As those reflections come in, we will share them in the paper as part of the Year of Consecrated Life. Religious wishing to submit a reflection should send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
For six years, in the ‘70’s, I was privileged to teach English literature, writing, and religion in Cathedral High, Natchez. Actually, we Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul go back a lot further: We arrived in that river town in 1847 to care for orphans, teach youth and administer human services to those in special need. It was impossible not to love the
students, teachers and families that made you feel part of them; the contagious communal pride in southern history, the gentle hospitality, the tasty catfish hangouts, the Pilgrimage elan, the Green Wave spirit and the elegant grace of historic St. Mary’s Basilica, where saints’ statues look down on you with such tenderness you know they are your friends.
Pioneers that we “Daughters” were, we also hung our hats (by this time adapted from the white-winged cornette to a more modest blue veil) in Walls and Charleston for direct service of the most vulnerable. For us in Natchez, visiting our Sisters in Northern Mississippi was a great stop-over on our trips up to the Provincial House in Evansville, Ind.
As you know, our sisters withdrew from Natchez in July 2003; but we have never left behind the loving relationships formed during our 156 years of insertion there. Throughout the years, Natchez families have also nurtured a generous number of religious vocations which we were thankful to welcome into our ranks as Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac!
Your lasting farewell gift is the present flourishing state of Cathedral School. Thanks to the dedication and wisdom of those who have continuously supported the school’s cause to provide for youth a sound Catholic and academic foundation, Cathedral today offers an education that yearly grows in quality. We Daughters of Charity salute the dedication of all who have a part in this growth, and we are thankful to have sowed a tiny “green” seed that just gets better with age!
With grateful love and prayer, Your Sister,
Honora Remes, Daughter of Charity, St. Louis, MO