Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady

Sister Barbara Arceneaux

I was born on April 28, 1948, in Rayne, Louisiana. I can describe my childhood as a happy one rooted in a Catholic foundation.

How would I describe the story of my religious vocation? One day, while in a Catechism class (CCD), I was moved by a presentation made by Sr. Mary Cabrini, the Vocation Director for the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. I can remember feeling the urge to learn more about these Sisters and their mission. My questions led to an invitation to Monroe, Louisiana, to learn more about religious life.

After several years of religious formation, I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Louisiana-Monroe (then called the University of Northeast Louisiana), and worked at St. Francis Hospital in direct patient care. I then went to Our Lady of Lourdes in Lafayette where I became a certified Pastoral Care Chaplain and served as Vice President of Human Resources. I also went on to earn a Master of Science in Administration from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

From 1982 to 1994, I was called to one of the most challenging moments of my religious life. I was elected to serve on our Congregation’s General Council in Paris, France. During this period, I was able to experience the different cultures and lives of our Sisters throughout the world.

Upon returning to Louisiana in 1994, I fell in love with serving the elderly. They make my heart glow!

From 2002 to 2010, I served as Provincial for the North American Province, and then was re-elected to this same position in 2014 and served through 2022.

Once, a person asked me to describe the accomplishments of which I am most proud. It was hard to answer at the time. I would not consider things in my life as accomplishments, but more as gifts from God and graces received. There are many challenges to be faced, however, there is nothing that cannot be confronted without faith.

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