‘Sister PC’ follows God’s plan: St. Joan of Arc pillar celebrates 50 years of service

Published 12:10 am Saturday, September 16, 2017

LAPLACE — There have been ups and downs for Sister PierCarla Barone, FDP, during her five decades of service to God and His plan, but she’s adamant in saying she’s never had a “bad” day.

“There were difficult days but no bad ones,” Barone said. “Of course, we trust God, so you go on. I am sure this is what God wants me to do and will give me the help to go on.”

Go on, she has.

Born in a small mountain town in the Abruzzi Region of southern Italy, Barone was involved early in her life in youth groups led by her church parish, where the Daughters of Divine Providence serve. At 19, Barone followed God’s call and left home for Rome, where she entered the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Providence.

After three years of training, she was sent to Switzerland to minister to the children of the Italian immigrants in that Protestant country.

Other calls for service sent her to Switzerland, back to Italy and many stops in the United States.

It all eventually led Barone to St. Joan of Arc Parish in LaPlace following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. She has since served as religious coordinator for St. Joan of Arc Catholic School, organized and led the school’s children’s choir, taught fifth grade religion classes and coached numerous youth soccer teams.

Affectionately known as “Sister PC” to those in and around St. Joan of Arc, local officials credit Barone as an instrumental force, leading the parish’s St. Joseph’s Altar, adding the school and church communities are blessed to have her.

Barone said it’s always rewarding to work with children, because 3- and 4-year-olds exhibit genuine innocence.

“They don’t care,” she joked. “Sometimes they call me by different names because they don’t know who I am. Sometimes they think I am the Blessed Virgin Mary, sometimes they think I am the church lady. If you work with kids and have some sort of difficult day, just do something with them or talk with them and that innocence and strength will help you.”

Barone recently celebrated her Golden Jubilee — the 50th anniversary of her first vows as she entered the convent — with a special Mass and reception at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church.   Barone even joked when asked if she had plans for another 50 years of service to God.

‘Sister PC’ gets a hug and a card from 3-year-old Dominic Harris.

“I don’t think we can plan too much because I know we have somebody who has a plan for our lives,” Barone said. “Nonetheless, I hope I can serve the people and children here in LaPlace and St. Joan of Arc for as long as God wants me. I try to take care of my health and everything to do this, which is what I like to do and what He called me to do.”

Her connection to children and teaching remains strong.

“I do a lot of things with children, not only teaching religion. I have some fun too,” she said. “They can learn so many things, even outside the classroom, sometimes in sports. I have been coaching soccer for 20 years. I am from Italy originally, and in Europe you learn to kick the ball before you even learn how to walk.”


In 1969, along with two other young sisters, Barone came to the United States to fill a call for European sisters to teach in the many Catholic schools opening in the 1970s. They lived in Metairie at Our Lady of Divine Providence Parish.

Not knowing the English language, she attended Dominican College in New Orleans for three years. In 1974 there was again a need for religious assistance in the poor schools of New Jersey. Barone, along with two sisters, left for Camden, N.J., to teach in the inner city schools.

Because of her studies, she was called back to Rome in 1981, when she attended international college Regina Mundi. She was ready to return to the United States when asked to open a mission convent in India, along with three other young sisters. Barone did not stay in India long due to difficulties in applying for VISAs during the 1980s.

In the fall of 1984, Barone returned to U.S. and went to St. Mark Church Parish in Chalmette, where she was religious coordinator for the school and parish until Hurricane Katrina struck Aug. 29, 2005.