Betty Ramsey of Horse Branch is also a center volunteer and a member of the quilt club. She says, “So many people depend on Sister Luisa that she probably doesn’t even realize it. I don’t think she knows how to say no. Even if she should, she wouldn’t. She’s just that way. She has become a very close friend.”
Since her arrival in Ohio County 22 years ago, Sister Luisa hasn’t slowed down a beat. She’s up at dawn (or before), on the go all day long and into the evening hours, all for the love of those who need her.
“I’ve always felt drawn to the poor,” says Sister Luisa. “The years I spend in the población were special to me because my work was more closely involved in the people’s lives. I was able to be with them when there was a death in the family, comfort them when they were out of work and sometimes help feed them when they didn’t have anything to eat.”
She continued, “I thought I knew what poverty was before I went to Guatemala in 1987 to visit Sister Mimi and Sister Dianna Ortiz. I decided right there that Chillán was like living uptown, even in the slums. Oh my goodness, it was far, far worse than Chillán . On top of a mountain to even walk from one half to the other was challenging. It was just real rough kind of rocks and things. Extreme poverty. Very little could grow on small plots. Sometimes you could have meat on Sundays, rest of the time beans and corn tortillas.”
“Right now my concern is for the Hispanics and others in Ohio County,” says Sister Luisa. “I just want to take care of their physical, medical, housing and special needs the best I can.”
There is a flower garden outside Holy Redeemer Church in Beaver Dam, which was built by the 2005 Vacation Bible School class. The garden features a cross of autographed bricks, a prayer bench and a statue of Saint Francis. Sister Luisa was present when the flower garden was dedicated and was surprised when a plaque was unveiled at the dedication. The plaque reads: This Garden is Dedicated to The Honor and Glory of God, In Recognition of the Faithful Service of Sister Luisa Bickett, OSU, May All Who Pray Here Know the Love, Peace and Joy of Our Lord Jesus Christ 2005.