Native Baton Rouge nun making Holy Communion hosts for papal Mass

PHILADELPHIA, PA (WAFB) - A nun who grew up in Baton Rouge is fulfilling a once in a lifetime mission.

Pope Francis' first trip to the United States will culminate with mass Saturday in Philadelphia, where hundreds of thousands of hosts will be needed for Holy Communion. That's where Sister Anne Bartol and her monastery come in.

"Making altar breads is what our monastery does to help support our prayer life," said Sister Bartol.

An LSU graduate, Sister Bartol now serves the Monastery of St. Clare outside of Philadelphia. The city's Catholic leaders assigned her monastery the task of making 100,000 hosts for Saturday's mass.

The sisters normally make 125,000 in one month. So the pope coming to town means working a lot faster.

"We doubled our production about two days a week," said Sister Bartol. "So it was about an extra month's worth of work for us but done in a short time."

Sister Bartol said it was a challenging task, but it certainly will be rewarding. The sisters are invited to attend mass.

When asked what she's most looking forward to, Sister Bartol answered, "Definitely, the biggest thing is just to be in Pope Francis' presence. It's like being near Jesus, as close as possible."

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