Volume 2, Edition 5
A Word from the First Lady of Louisiana
Our love and prayers go out to those families who have been affected by the virus including our families who have lost loved ones in the last few days. Our hearts are with everyone struggling with this virus.
March, the month that marks the beginning of Spring and a time of reflection. Springtime, the season many southerners love, where the temperatures are just right, the flowers are plentiful and the sun is out a bit longer. (Although I enjoy being able to spend more time outside, daylight savings time really confuses my internal clock).
March is also National Women’s History Month. The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote. This month we honor and commemorate the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment!
This historic centennial yields us the opportunity to honor a milestone of equality and reminds us to explore its significance concerning the issues of today.
Did you know:
- On average, women exercise their right to vote more than men.
- Although the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, it wasn’t until 1965 that the Voting Rights Act constituted a significant change in the status of African Americans throughout southern states. The Voting Rights Act prohibited Louisiana from using literacy tests and other methods of excluding African Americans from voting.
- A New Orleans native, Kate Gordon (1861-1932), became the secretary of the National American Woman’s Suffrage Association in 1901.
We’ve come so far, yet there is still progress to be made. We must recognize the significance of being an informed voter and actively exercise that sacred right.
Furthermore, for many religious denominations, March also marked the beginning of our Lenten Journey. I want to share a specific portion of the sermon given by Father Walsh, at mass on Ash Wednesday.
Below is an excerpt from the homily:
“And the second work that Jesus commends to us at the beginning of this holy season is fasting. Fasting from food purifies the body, but it purifies the soul as well…because our bodies and souls are intrinsically united. We can’t discipline our souls unless we first discipline our bodies. And so by ridding ourselves of excess, whether the excess be an excess of food or alcohol or television or the internet, we begin to experience a hunger, and that hunger in turn can become hunger for God. You see, any voluntary act of self-denial (whether it be fasting from food or some other form of penance) has the capacity to refocus our human passions and desires. And those passions are like a fire. When they are focused on God, our passions give energy, direction, intensity to our lives. But when our passions are unfocused or uncontrolled or when they are focused on the wrong things, … then they burn out of control recklessly and kill and destroy our souls. When we undertake voluntary penance out of love for God, we find that the cravings we originally experienced eventually yield to joy and peace, as we are filled with God’s presence.”
This particular homily embodied a powerful message about our Mind, Body and Soul. Throughout this Lenten season, I plan to remind myself that “our bodies and souls are intrinsically united, and we can’t discipline our souls unless we first discipline our bodies.” I plan to remind myself of this message and particularly this segment over the next 40 days and throughout the upcoming year. There’s much to be learned from discipline, which is self-control, restraint and correction.
May your days of March be filled with beautiful sunshine, walks outside, and a sense of peace. Let’s pray that March brings Louisiana some cool-weather days before the inevitable summer heat arrives.
NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH
In February, 2019, the First Lady traveled to Washington D.C. to attend meetings with national funders and stakeholders for her Teach MAM program. While there, she had the honor to attend an event for the National Women’s History Museum. Where is that, you ask? Well…only online right now, but The House of Representatives passed a bill this month to establish a Smithsonian Women’s History Museum. The Smithsonian Board of Regents would be charged with selecting a location for the new museum, “with priority given to a site that is on or near the National Mall.”
“For too long, women’s history has been left out of the telling of our nation’s history,” the bill’s lead sponsors, Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.), Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), said in a joint statement released after the bill’s passage. “By creating a Smithsonian museum dedicated to telling American women’s history, we can inspire future generations to make history themselves. Representation matters. Let’s make sure that every child can see themselves in their heroes and role models.”
Establishing new Smithsonian museums doesn’t happen very often and it takes time. It took 13 years for the most recent addition to the institution’s network, the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, to open. Congress passed the legislation in 2003. Rep. John Lewis (D-G.A.) began championing legislation for an African American museum within the Smithsonian system in the late 1980s.
“With Congress’s support, we’d be happy to [open a women’s museum],” said Smithsonian spokesperson Linda St. Thomas. “We know we can build great museums — we just did it with the African American Museum. It just takes Congressional support and funding.”
The passage of the women’s history museum legislation comes during the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. Existing D.C. museums like the National Archives and the National Portrait Gallery have been marking the centennial with special exhibits and performances, motivating The New York Times to select the city as the No. 1 place to visit in 2020. And just outside Washington, a suffrage museum recently opened in Lorton, Va., near the site where 72 suffragists were imprisoned in 1917 for picketing the White House.
“Our country should know the names of its history-making women,” said D.C. Rep. Norton. “Women have helped the United States since our founding, despite not being recognized for our many accomplishments.” The First Lady of Louisiana is proud to be a part of making this museum a reality.
For more information on the National Women’s History Museum, click here: https://www.womenshistory.org
LOUISIANA FIRST FOUNDATION
Yes Mam, No Mam, Thank you Mam = Teach MAM!
GOVERNOR'S MANSION Governor's Mansion Preservation Foundation
Preservation and upkeep of the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion is done primarily by donor support and fundraising. The historic and beautiful building and grounds reflects our great state and all of its unique history and beauty. Please consider supporting this endeavor through purchasing from our online store, joining our Circle of Friends, or sending a donation.
Women’s Health Blog
By Tracie N Carter, M.D.
Slidell Memorial Pediatrics SMH Plus Network
As we age and mature, there are so many turns and paths to take. Career, marriage, children, and varying levels of activity that come with life and its experiences. Have you found yourself in a rut of complacency, or energized and motivated to get to the gym or running trail a few days a week? Are you living to eat or eating and fueling to live? Ask yourself this and think of a goal; what do you WISH you were doing? The first step is visualization, and the next is to take ACTION.
What did you do for activity at 13, 16, or 18 yrs old? Were you involved in school sport, did you play basketball in your front yard, did you run sprint races at recess, or swim races at the pool during your summers? It is time to tap back into THAT, whatever it was that moved you to push your body until you were sweaty, red faced and laughing. Embrace your inner athlete—she has been there this whole time. Even if you never competed in anything, you have two legs like anyone else and can start somewhere. For me it was the “Couch-to-5K” app in 2010, when at age 38 I had never run a mile in my life, ever. I swam competitively through most of my youth, so had never done many ‘land sports’. It was a mind-shift that needed to happen, as it does for us all when we try something new. The decision comes first, then the determination to take action and practice positive self-talk.
PEOPLE OF LOUISIANA Making a Difference
Owner/Manager, Hugs From Heaven
Hugs from Heaven was founded by south Louisiana Catholic wife and mom of four, Julie Marceaux Romero. She was inspired by her own real-life experience when her brother Chad went through life-threatening transplant surgeries in New Orleans in November 2011. During the operations, Julie prayed in the chapel, wishing for the Lord’s physical presence to hold and comfort her. In this moment, she received a clear vision from Jesus to create a “hug from heaven” – a soft pillow doll in His image. It wasn’t until 13 years later, after his death on January 6, 2011 (also Julie’s birthday) that she created the first doll from the vision she had received. She shared them with her circle of friends and they became popular in the Acadiana region.
How One Teacher’s Experience with
War Shifted to a Life of Advocacy
At seventeen I signed my life away to the Army (as my mother would say it). It was 1999, Clinton was president, it was an all-volunteer force during peacetime operations, and I was given a promise of free college once I completed my enlistment. It was the best way to see the world while leaving my small town behind.
Fast forward two years. September 11th. The unforgettable terrorist attacks on US soil rocked our world. Instantly the dynamics of the military changed.
Abbigale Rose Ferrier
U.S. Air Force
Abbigale Rose Ferrier was born on June 11, 1998 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She attended Holy Name of Jesus Elementary School until 2007. Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, Abbi’s family relocated to Marietta, Georgia, where she completed the remainder of her education. In 2016, Abbi returned to Louisiana to attend Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. During her time at LSU, Abbi joined the Air Force ROTC program, where she accepted an AFROTC scholarship and took an oath of enlistment to enter the Air Force upon graduation. In the summer of 2018, she attended Air Force Field Training at Maxwell Air Force Base and earned a spot to commission as an Air Force Officer.
Lori Monahan Borden
Owner, Lori Monahan Borden Design
Like many in New Orleans in 2005, Lori was forced into a career change. Losing her home and her job after Katrina, she took what was a hobby and turned it into career. Her love of ink, paper, design and all things creative began with her first job, working for her father, Tommy Monahan, at Monahan Printing and Direct Mail. She started by working in the dark room, stripping film and creating printing plates, then moving onto graphics, customer service, and sales. She caught the bug and fell in love with the smell of ink. She always had a great eye for design, but it was all of the designers that worked at Monahan that taught her everything she knows.
Porchetta, Creamy Grits, Bitter Greens, Sofrito Vinaigrette from Chef Jeff Mattia
“The Porchetta reminds me of my family and the way my grandmother would cook for us all the time; it’s my bridge to Southern Italian cooking here in Louisiana.”
– Chef Jeff Mattia