Evelyn Treuting: True gem
When Evelyn Treuting’s husband died more than 20 years ago after 29 years of marriage, she told her children that she wanted to become a nun.
“My son burst out laughing,” she said.
Her son explained: ‘They’d want you to put everything in a chest of drawers, and there is no way you could fit it. And, not only that, you’d want to go in as mother superior.’”
The gregarious Treuting, now 83, didn’t become a nun, but she did join the Companions of Pauline, an affiliation of the Sisters of Christian Charity that live and spread Gospel values and promote eucharistic spirituality through the charisms of charity, doing things for others and education adopted by its founder Blessed Sister Pauline Von Mallinckrodt. The order celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013 in New Orleans.
“Living the Christ mystery fully and giving cheerful and joyful service to the poor” is the thrust of the Sisters of Christian Charity, said Sister of Christian Charity M. Joanne Ladwig, southern coordinator of the Companions. “These ladies have absorbed that spirit, and it’s wonderful.”
Treuting said she encountered the Sisters of Christian Charity when they taught her three children at St. Raphael School, and she loved their joyfulness. She hopes to encourage other younger adults to be a Companion.
“We’re trying to build up our companions right now,” Treuting said.
"We currently have eight active members in New Orleans and more than 100 in the Midwest region,” said Sister Joanne who has ministered in New Orleans, mostly in education, since 1992. Her last post was teaching at St. Mary’s Academy. She is now working with the 4th World Movement to fight poverty.
At one time, the Sisters of Christian Charity taught at several schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, including St. Henry, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Raphael. Blessed Pauline Von Mallinckrodt actually visited St. Henry’s Uptown, and a memorial was dedicated to her there.
“We had a Mass in the room there once and it felt so good; you could almost feel her spirit,” Treuting said.
Companions of Pauline live their regular life and pray to Mother Pauline, using prayers given by the order, Sister Joanne said. Companions have quarterly meetings, retreats and other activities and support the ministries of the Sisters of Christian Charity by holding fund-raisers, such as a recent cookbook that raised money for a local charity voted on by the members.
Woman of many interests
Treuting recalled being raised Catholic by her mother and going to Holy Angels High School. She, her two brothers and mother would pray for her father’s conversion to Catholicism. When her father was in the hospital for surgery, Father Doug Brougher, now chaplain at Touro Infirmary, spoke with him on Ascension Thursday and bestowed a blessing on him. She said her dad made his peace with God in order to have a Christian burial.
In addition to being a Companion of Pauline, Treuting is an art aficionado, enjoying all types of art, reading and learning new things. At age 50, she said she earned an associate degree in fine arts and began to paint and make jewelry.
In fact, she has taught jewelry making workshops for the Gem and Mineral Society of Louisiana, an organization she joined with her daughter Carolyn Ameen, decades ago after attending one of its annual shows. She has been an officer and board member of the society, in charge of their education classes and has taught metal crafting, beading and chain making.
The society is holding its 44th Gem and Mineral Show, Oct. 10-12 at the Landmark Hotel in Metairie, and Treuting will be there.
“All the Companions of Pauline have their own likes and dislikes – things they get involved in – but we always leave a special place for Mother Pauline and the sisters.” Treuting said. “It’s as if she’s with us in our minds as a guide and influences us. I’m glad I got to be a Companion. I get an uplifting of my soul and my spirit. I feel closer to our Lord through Mother Pauline and know I am not alone in this feeling.”
She said God has been good to her.
“He has given me miracles,” she said. “I can’t ever do enough for him.”
“That’s Evelyn,” Sister Joanne said. “She can never do enough. She has been an asset to us.”
44th Gem and Mineral Show
➤ WHAT: 44th annual Gem and Mineral Show of the Gem and Mineral Society of Louisiana. More than 20 dealers show precious gem stones, Louisiana opals, minerals, fossils, beads and jewelry; jewelry making, cabochon cutting; displays of fluorescent minerals and dinosaur bones.
➤ WHEN: Oct. 10-11, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Oct. 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
➤ WHERE: The Best Western Landmark Hotel, 2601 Severn Ave., Metairie.
➤ Admission: $5 a day or three-day pass for $8; students, military and society members, $3; scouts in uniform and children under age 12 get in free.