Author Archives: Kerstin Deubel

Caring for children in need continues as a SND focus

September 16th, 2014 | Posted by Kerstin Deubel in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

This week marks my first as a staff member of the Ark. The Ark is an emergency  nondenominational shelter for youth which began as a project of the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.


rainbowThe Missionary Sisters began their work with youth in 1971, establishing the New Life prevention program for girls, followed by the Turnaround prevention program for boys. By the late 1990s the Missionary Sisters and their prevention program administrator, Delma Trejo realized that a more comprehensive program was needed to provide 24/7 services. Five acres of land donated from the Diocese of Corpus Christi became the Ark’s site, creating an emergency shelter for children and youth.  The Ark has since expanded (2002) and we can accommodate 37 children ages 0 through 17 years old.

The children who come to us are abused physically, sexually or neglected by parents or guardians. Our Notre Dame foundress, Hilligonde Wohlbring would agree that these are the orphaned children of today similar to the children in need she worked with in Coesfeld, Germany during the 1850s.  If you want to learn more about the Ark visit

Keep us in your prayers! Sr. Kerstin Maria




Preparing for transition

April 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Kerstin Deubel in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

StGabs_NOOur pastor, Father Doug Dousson wanted to prepare the St. Gabriel parishioners for transition when he retires.  He invited parish leadership and any parishioner who wanted to be part of a six-part leadership training.  Each session was divided into three parts:  Spiritual, Theological and Pastoral.  In each session, which was about two months apart, the participants did homework reading from various documents.

The spiritual was based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius from the book, Discovering Your Dream by Gerald Fagin, SJ.  The theological was from the Vatican Council Documents, a commentary by Edward Hannenburg.  The Pastoral part was various presentations on servant leadership and parish leader formation.  There were presentations, small group discussions and group sharing.  It has been an enriching experience and a wonderful opportunity to get to know parishioners and their thoughts and desires for our parish here in New Orleans!

mirabeauSister Mary Ellen Schroeder coaches a third grade student as she does her BrainSkills™ program.  The students spend a half hour daily at the Center on the program.  This consistent practice of the skills will result in the development of skills in memory, attention, processing speed, visual and auditory processing and logic and reasoning.  Coaching is essential to the program because students can get discouraged if they cannot achieve success immediately.  Our motto is “When it gets tough, that is when the brain is growing, so stick to it!”

In addition to the students in our after school program, we also travel to a middle school where we coach sixth and seventh grade boys in the BrainPower™ Program.  We are training the teacher who will continue the program after we leave.

“Living Waters”

February 17th, 2014 | Posted by Kerstin Deubel in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

NewOrStGabsLisa Wagner-Carollo, a friend of our Pastor, Father Doug Dousson and Pastoral Associate, Sr. Kathleen Pittman came to St. Gabriel  in 2011 to interview parishioners about their Katrina experience.  She took these experiences, wrote a script, hired some actors and presented “Living Water: The Story of St. Gabriel the Archangel Church.”

They came at the end of last month to present it to the parish.  It was powerful since they played the parts of people that we knew and who were there in the audience. From the destructive waters of Katrina came a resilient story of resurrection in the people of this parish.  Their stories were gripping and heartbreaking, and yet these people are here today as a vibrant community of faith.  (All those in the picture were characters in the play). Now Lisa is writing a book to capture all the stories of those she interviewed that were not part of the play.

Once again the “phoenix rises out of the ashes.”

The privilege of baking bread

February 5th, 2014 | Posted by Kerstin Deubel in Uncategorized - (5 Comments)

Kerstin_bread2One of the many aspects that makes St. Gabriel’s in New Orleans’ Sunday worship meaningful is the participation of so many parishioners in various ministries. One of these is bread making for the Eucharistic bread.  I take my turn about twice a year for a month to do this loving service.

What a privilege it is to make the very bread that becomes Christ’s Body.   That very loaf becomes the real Presence, and the hungry of spirit are fed with the ordinary staff of life.  That bread was fashioned from the familiar flour, honey, milk, baking soda, water, and salt to feed and nourish many lives. Before I begin the process of making the bread, I pray that Jesus accompany me while I make it, praying that this bread is fashioned for His honor, and that it turns out!

(Sr. Kerstin Maria tutors young children and adults at the Mirabeau Family Learning Center in New Orleans, LA)