NEW ORLEANS– Two nuns in Central City transformed their home into a Mardi Gras float filled with hope this Carnival season.
Sister Mary Lou Specha and Sister Julie Marsh are part of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary order from Dubuque, Iowa. They love Mardi Gras so much and when the parades got cancelled this year they knew they wanted to turn their home on S. Saratoga Street into a house float.
Their prayers were answered with the help of the Krewe of Red Beans and generous donors.
“Our theme is women of light sharing hope. Our founder Nano Nagle lived in the 1700’s in a dark time in Ireland. One of the things she did at night was carry her lantern through dark places to help the elderly and the sick. We know during this tough time there’s been a lot of darkness, but there’s always been a lot of lot with people doing good things, so we wanted our float to showcase that,” Sister Mary Lou Specha said.
The sisters raised over 10-thousand dollars through Go Fund Me and worked with the Krewe of Red Beans who hires local artists to build the house floats.
“So on the side of the house is a wall of hope. We have some women throughout history that we wanted to honor, and then we ask that you come by and fill out a little dove and on it you can write who your hero of hope is,” she said.
When the sisters look at their house float they feel like it is a gift from God.
“I purposely came out just to see it at night and I stood out here and I really had tears in my eyes because it is bringing so much light to the neighborhood,” Sister Mary Lou said.
Their “Women of Light: Sharing Hope” float is located at 1706 S. Saratoga Street.
These sisters run Hotel Hope, which helps women in need have a safe place to stay.