The Blessed Mother in the City

By Kristen Bourgeois

I spent most of my law enforcement career assigned to the Sixth District (Lower Garden District, Irish Channel, Central City) of New Orleans. I was so very familiar with the neighborhoods: the details of those city blocks, the memories of certain crimes that have occurred.

After many years working in the Sixth District, I left for another assignment – a gang task force with an office located outside the city, all while having a “slow roll” conversion.

My last Mardi Gras, I was assigned back in the Sixth District. We were not on the parade route that year, but assigned on the route’s perimeter to curb rising violent gang activity. I returned to this very familiar area with different eyes – eyes opened due to my religious conversion. A poverty-stricken area where things are dilapidated and, where in the past, my eyes could only see the brokenness, the darkness.

But, this particular year, as we drove the familiar city blocks, my eyes were drawn to Marian statues. They were everywhere in an area I thought I knew. My eyes were being drawn to the presence of the Blessed Mother in an area I had never experienced her presence.

We can miss the consolations in this life if we are too busy focused on the darkness of our world. We can miss the support and presence of Our Lady who is present in all areas, praying for all her children.

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