Holy Angels broke ground today for the new All Saints Chapel on campus to replace the existing chapel.

The chapel at the head of the campus has been the beacon of Holy Angels’ spiritual service since the residential facility was established, but ravages of time and Louisiana’s climate have damaged the building’s structure. The new chapel will incorporate some of the historic elements from the old structure, such as windows, statues and Stations of the Cross, but it will also afford the opportunity to meet requirements for safety, accessibility and comfort.  

All Saints Chapel will be built in honor of Elizabeth “Beth” O’Brien (or Boo, as many family members called her), whose birthday was on All Saints Day. Beth O’Brien was one of the first residents at Holy Angels in 1965, where she resided until her death in 2010.

“Spiritual care is one of our cornerstones of Holy Angels’ mission, making the All Saints Chapel a fundamental project for our residents’ spiritual growth. When the O’Brien family saw the condition of our current chapel, they decided to expand their already generous legacy to Holy Angels with a gift to honor their family member, Beth (Boo) O’Brien.  The O’Brien family and friends provided their time and gifts to sustain the spiritual center of our mission.  Thanks to the O’Brien’s leadership, a new chapel will enhance the spiritual care of all who are touched by Holy Angels,” said Holy Angels CEO Laurie Boswell.

The O’Brien family’s commitment to the ministry of Holy Angels stems from deep roots, as they were one of three original donors who provided Holy Angels with the 64-acre property where residents and program participants currently live and work. The O’Brien family is heading the All Saints Chapel project, continuing to invest in Holy Angels. 

“Knowing my Aunt Boo and her capacity for unconditional love was the greatest gift God gave me, and I am forever grateful,” said Caroline Gardner, a member of the O’Brien family, Holy Angels’ Chapel Committee and Champions for Individuals with Disabilities Advisory Committee. “That same love abounds throughout Holy Angels today.”