First US house for women considering religious vocations opens

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Archbishop Gregory Aymond blesses St. Rita's Magnificat House of discernment for women religious. Credit: Frank J. Methe, Clarion Herald, New Orleans.

The first and only residence for women discerning a vocation to the religious life in the United States has opened in New Orleans.

Magnifcat House was officially opened on Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady, by Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans.

In front of dozens of existing religious sisters and many other potential new recruits, Archbishop Aymond blessed the residence which will now be open to any woman of post-college age who wants to live in community while discerning a possible call to religious life.

The project is the inspiration of Archbishop Aymond and Sister Sylvia Thibodeaux, the Director of Religious for the archdiocese. It also has the support of various female religious orders based in the area.

Magnficat House can accommodate up to eight women at a time, with the expected duration of stay expected to be around six months. During that time the women will live a daily routine of prayer and work supervised by two veterans of the female religious life.

The program will revolve around a set timetable of private prayer time, formation, spiritual direction, shared meals and community living, all with the goal of helping each woman discern her vocation.

Residents will also be able to welcome visitors, family and friends to the house at all times.

Any woman interested in Magnifcat House can find more information on the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ website, www.arch-no.org.

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