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Betty Renard, RSCJ, Community Volunteer

Sister Betty Renard

Elizabeth (Betty) Renard was born on September 2, 1933 in Ferguson, Missouri and attended high school Nerinx Hall. After graduating in 1951, Sister Renard entered the Society of the Sacred Heart at the young age of eighteen, just one year out of school. She made her first vows on March 8, 1954 at Kenwood in Albany.

Sister Renard began her ministry as a teacher at Clifton Academy of the Sacred Heart in Cincinnati in 1955. After just one year, she returned to school at Maryville University in Missouri, then continued teaching, this time at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles, Missouri. In 1959, she left for Rome to prepare for and make her final profession. She did so on February 8, 1960.

Upon returning to the United States, Sister Renard returned to the classroom at the Convent of the Sacred Heart (City House) in St. Louis. In 1965 she moved to Grand Coteau, Louisiana to teach American history at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. After seven years, Sister Renard began teaching at the Academy of the Sacred Heart (the Rosary) in New Orleans. Eventually, she transitioned to the librarian and held this position until 1980. At this time, she felt the drawn toward a different ministry—nursing.

In 1980, Sister Renard worked as a part of the social and health ministry in St. Charles Parish in Grand Coteau before returning to school at St. Louis University to obtain her nursing license. After doing so in 1988, Sister Renard served as a nurse for the Little Sisters of the Assumption in East Harlem, New York. She primarily made home visits to the most elderly patients. After nine years of this, she returned to Grand Coteau, this time on staff at the Thenstead Center.

At the Thenstead Center, Sister Renard organizes and facilitates the group of thirty-five to forty seniors who gather twice a month at the center. She makes frequent home visits to seniors of the community who are home-bound and/or bed-ridden and brings the Eucharist to them as requested. Although the job is often challenging to her, Sister Renard finds much joy in it. She says, “often I am put to shame when I see the simple, unshakable faith of these folks. Many of them may not know much about Jesus, but they know Jesus. To be the Heart of Christ for others and to show forth the love of God through education is what this ministry is all about.” By seeing this faith in her patients, she herself has grown in faith.