NEW ORLEANS -- At the National Shrine to Our Lady Of Prompt Succor, Sister Carla Dolce isn't sleeping much these days as she worries about completing major renovations.
"My sisters fuss at me because I'm up all night, either praying or up on the computer working."
January 8, 2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, when New Orleans needed urgent help to win in 1815, and the Ursuline nuns prayed to the mother of Jesus for Prompt Succor.
"It's going to be a huge celebration, and as we know it will be a celebration of the whole city for 200 years," said Archbishop Gregory Aymond.
The roof has been replaced, waterproofing completed and the steeple repaired, but there is still work on the pews, masonry, painting and a new sound system.
"Quick help, I need quick help," Dolce said. "Mother, Mother, Mother, please! And I ask the people of this town, please remember us."
One of the key projects is to replace the entrance stairs. They're in bad shape. Dolce said people have fallen.
This alone is a $500,000 project. In all they need $600,000. The date is fast approaching when she has to sign contracts. That's why Dolce isn't sleeping.
"It's not only $600,000," said Sr. Carla. "This is my pressure. We have to sign three contracts before June 1."
But she's a New Orleanian, and she has faith.
"Our Lady of Prompt Succor is the patron of Louisiana," Dolce said. "So I'm very confident. Our people party a lot, but they give a lot because they have good hearts."
To take part in the renovation campaign, call the National Shrine of Our Lady Of Prompt Succor at 866-0200, or visit the website at www.shrineofourladyofpromptsuccor.com.