The Dianna Ortiz Ursuline Center for Women – Casa Ursulina – is a ministry of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph, located in Chillán in southcentral Chile. It was founded in 1997 by Ursuline Sister Mary Elizabeth (Mimi) Ballard and seven Chilean women. Casa Ursulina is a center for community where women – often isolated in their homes and subject to loneliness and depression – can make new friends and work together in a spirit of solidarity and mutual respect.
“In all of our relationships with one another,” Sister Mimi often says, “we remember that each one of us is a daughter of God.” Casa Ursulina offers a gathering place for women of low income seeking to expand their skills or to learn new ways of developing their interests and talents. Many learn to make products that can be sold either in Chile or in the United States, thus helping them to support themselves and their families.
Casa Ursulina is a lively, joyful place. The women are eager to learn and eager to help others, especially newcomers, to become active members and leaders in the community.