Welcome to the Diocese of Lake Charles

LAKE CHARLES — The Diocese of Lake Charles Office of Catholic Schools is pleased to announce the new principal for Immaculate Conception Cathedral School. The search committee recommended Sister Mary Noel Pereira, RSM, a member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan to Reverend Rommel Tolentino.

Sister Mary Noel Pereira, RSM
New ICCS principal

Sister Mary Noel was born outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has lived in Brazil, Chile, and Michigan. Her father is from Nicaragua, her mother is of British descent, and she has one younger brother. Her undergraduate work is in Theology and Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. Active in Campus Ministry, she worked as a Mentor-in-Faith for Notre Dame Vision, which is a series of faith-based conferences for high school students. Sister Mary Noel has also completed her Master of Arts in Theology at the University of Notre Dame.

Most recently, Sister Mary Noel led the restructuring and revitalization of young adult ministry in the Diocese of Knoxville Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. She catalyzed the start of various parish young adult groups, helped to restructure the diocesan young adult group, and led young adult ministry leadership formation. Fluent in Spanish, she assisted in Pastoral Juvenil Hispana.

While working at the chancery for the Diocese of Knoxville, Sister Mary Noel met the Religious Sisters of Mercy. She discerned a call with their community and entered the Religious Sisters of Mercy in 2019. She has completed one year of postulancy, and in July, will have completed her canonical novitiate.

The Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan is a pontifical religious institute. Originally founded in 1831 in Dublin, Ireland by Venerable Catherine McAuley, it was reinstituted after the Second Vatican Council in 1973. The Religious Sisters of Mercy Motherhouse is in Alma, Michigan. There are 15 convents in the United States and four international convents. The charism of the community is mercy. God’s abundant mercy transforms the Sisters’ own misery into a healing grace and impels her to dispense this mercy to others in service to the Church. The convergence point between God’s mercy and the misery of mankind is represented in the Sisters’ Mercy Cross: the white being the light of Christ shining in the darkness of the misery of mankind.

Venerable Catherine McAuley sought to make the Mercy of God visible in the Sisters’ service to the poor of her time. This service manifests itself in this religious community through a commitment to comprehensive healthcare. The Sisters serve in the medical field, education, administration, and behavioral health. A unique aspect of their charism, the Sisters take a fourth vow of service to the poor, sick, and ignorant, along with the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In their formation, the Sisters integrate theological studies with a virtuous life entirely given to Christ. The Sisters have a special devotion to Saint Thomas Aquinas, their heavenly patron, and find in him a model for integrating the intellectual life into the life of faith. Sister Mary Noel is excited to continue in this bond of academic studies and the spiritual life at ICCS.

Mother Catherine’s legacy of union and charity calls the Sisters to mirror the union of the Most Holy Trinity. In this spirituality of communion, the religious community strives to be an instrument of union and mercy in the Church. Sister Mary Noel is looking forward to working together in this spirit of dialogue toward an ever-deepening union with Christ in the ICCS community.

The Religious Sisters of Mercy have been serving in the Diocese of Lake Charles since 2014 in various Diocesan and school positions, at the invitation of Bishop Glen John Provost. The Sisters have been privileged to witness the beautiful faith of the people in the Diocese and look forward to expanding their mission within the Diocese to ICCS through the apostolic service of Sister Mary Noel. Sister is excited to meet the Immaculate Conception Cathedral School community to lead the students in their growth of spirit, mind, and body.


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