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Our Purpose

In recent years an increasing amount of thought has been given to "our aging population", "the older generation", "boomers", or what ever title you might apply to these very important members of our society of those over 50. Forced retirement and separation by death often breeds loneliness and frustration. People Program offers creative and intellectual activities which contribute to renewed self-esteem and sense of well being.

Innumerable studies and conferences have focused attention on the needs of this age group; many opinions have been offered as to "what to" and "how to" do something acceptable toward creating interesting programs that would enrich their lives and benefit action. With Archdiocesan encouragement to place more emphasis on programs for our seniors, and with the mandate of the General Chapter of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Sister Alice Marie Macmurdo, CSJ, began to observe and study such programs. Early in 1973, she advanced her findings and ideas to the Province and subsequently, with the encouragement and help of associates, she promulgated a truly active program for people -- now known as People Program. It is a program for people, by people, joining together to share knowledge, crafts, and arts; thus, drawing from each other mental and emotional awareness, physical strength, and, above all, a new feeling of belonging and self-confidence.

The program has grown from its modest beginning of 35 persons in early 1974 to more than 500 today with over 100 volunteer teachers and assistants. We have also expanded from our original location in Gentilly to our Lakeshore Dr. site (main campus) and added a satellite location on the West Bank. This growth is attributed to the favorable reception of participants and their enthusiastic commentary to friends and relatives.

The program presently offers over 100 classes, four days each week at the Lakeshore campus and three days at our Westbank location. All teachers and instructors are volunteers who are interested in sharing their knowledge in a relaxed atmosphere where community building is as essential as skill development. Truly remarkable is the steadfast interest of participants and teachers alike.

The People Program is nonsectarian; it lists among its members a variety of ethnic, racial, and religious groups. It is not sponsored by any governmental agency. It holds a nonprofit status and is supported by membership fees and contributions of the participants, as well as grants, donations and fundraisers.

Visitors are always welcome. The classes in action are quite impressive, especially for persons from other areas who are interested in starting similar activities. The staff and teachers are glad to offer guidance and information.

Many participants, who first came out of curiosity, discovered a pleasant atmosphere in which to enjoy new friendships, develop new skills in arts, crafts, languages, physical fitness, dance, and to take part in a variety of social gatherings, and travel opportunities. Expressions from members of People Program are most gratifying: "a new purpose for living", "a reduced fear of aging", "looking forward to each new class", "an avenue of personal discovery and adventure", "a renewed feeling of usefulness and being needed".

Aging is inevitable. Neither theories nor empathy is enough to deal with the challenges associated with that process. At People Program we have come to recognize the universal human need for creativity, learning, and socialization in a caring community. We have a choice about how to spend these days, and we invite you to join us.



Holy Spirit Catholic Church
6201 Stratford Place
New Orleans, LA 70131
(504) 394-5433

2240 Lakeshore Dr.
New Orleans, LA 70122
(504) 284-7678

(view Virtual Spring Classes 2021 Schedule)



New Orleans People Program | 2240 Lakeshore Dr. | New Orleans, LA 70122 | 504-284-7678
www.peopleprogram.org |  info@peopleprogram.org