Sister Mary Elizabeth (Mimi) Ballard, OSU: “….has always had the heart of a missionary.”

She “caught” it, indeed. Shortly after her return from Chillán, Sister Ruth announced that she is leaving her position with the communications department at Mount Saint Joseph to become a volunteer worker with Sister Mimi at Casa Ursulina, effective September 1 of this year.

Sister Mimi is thrilled to welcome Sister Ruth back to Chile permanently. “For me to be able to live with another Ursuline sister is just wonderful,” she says. The women of Casa Ursulina are also looking forward to Sister Ruth’s return. “When she was there in March she really committed and got along well with the women.”

These seven women, together with Sister Mimi, are responsible for the development of Casa Ursulina. All are Ursuline Associates. From left, Evelina Salas, Yolanda Moraga, Inés Galvéz, Sonia Pradenas, Sister Mimi, Carola Pulgar, Paty Jamett, Raquel Sepúlveda.

What will Sister Ruth add to the joyful, infectious spirit she discovered last March at Casa Ursulina? Says Sister Mimi, “She will add her many talents and her ideas. There are a lot of things she can offer to the women and teach them there. She will know what that is after she’s there a year or so.”

Sister Mimi has been part of Casa Ursulina for 10 years, and has become an important part of many families in Chillán.

She says, “The women I’m working with now I knew when they were children. I worked with their mothers years ago. I’m like in second and third generations there.” She continues, “I’ve got godchildren all over the area. If you’re a child’s godmother, that establishes a family bond with you and the mother and father of that child. And that relationship is something real important in Hispanic life.”

Sister Mimi just turned 59. How long does she plan to remain at Casa Ursulina?

Without hesitation she says, “I don’t plan on working anywhere else. You never know what’s going to happen, but I feel like I’ll be there as long as my health allows me to be there. I’m too old to look for another job now and I’m certainly happy where I am.”