Caridad de Corazón, Charity of the Heart
Caridad de Corazón, Charity of the Heart, was established in Eagle Pass, Texas in 2000. Its purpose is to respond to the needs of the poor and disenfranchised living in communities near the Texas/Mexico Border. We strongly advocate for the poor by promoting health education and providing food, household goods, and medical equipment to those in need. Thousands of men, women, and children near the Texas/Mexico border have benefited from Caridad’s services. Due to the tremendous social and health needs in the area, this number continues to rise.
We own a Mission House in Eagle Pass that is available to church groups, university students, and volunteers from various regions of the United States seeking service work in the area. Service volunteerism at Caridad continues to increase annually. Hundreds of volunteers have stayed with us during the past several years and were actively involved in mission projects.
Advocates for Immigrants
We have long been advocates for the immigrant in Texas and the Southwest. This past year, Caridad welcomed over 2,000 refugees to our Mission House, offering them our Benedictine hospitality and providing accommodations, meals, and support while they awaited sponsorship in the U.S. Many women Religious and other volunteers from around the country came to spend time at Caridad in support of our work with the immigrant.
Scholarships for Youth and Young Adults
Another important part of our Caridad ministry is to provide scholarships to youth and young adults who might otherwise not have the opportunity to continue their education. To date, hundreds of youth and young adults have received scholarships to further their education and create better lives for themselves. Click here for Scholarship Recipient Stories
We have also teamed up with Benedictine Volunteers, a volunteer organization that was established in 2014 by three Benedictine communities in North and South Dakota. The vision of Benedictine Volunteers is to inspire a spirit of service and discernment by which each volunteer fully realizes the unique call God has placed in her heart. We wanted to broaden service opportunities for women, ages 20-55, who may be discerning God’s call in their lives. Initial volunteer opportunities with our community consist of a Texas/Mexico Immersion Program with Caridad. Length of service is from 2 weeks to 2 years. Volunteers live at our Mission House and have opportunities to serve in the areas of building and repairing homes, scholarships distribution, food preparation and distribution, hospitality to service mission groups, liturgy and music, orphanage assistance, photography, prison ministry, soup kitchen assistance and much more.
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Global Good Works
Sister Ursula Herrera, OSB and her work within our Caridad de Corazón border ministry were included in a recent Global Sisters Report – a project of the National Catholic Reporter. You can read the article titled “Despite pandemic, sisters bring material aid, moral support to migrants” here. – January 2021
Podcast with Sr. Ursula Herrera, OSB
Listen to a podcast with Sr. Ursula Herrera, OSB – January 2020
Ursula Herrera, OSB, is a Benedictine Sister of Boerne, TX. She earned her nursing degree from the University of Texas and worked at her community’s hospital in San Antonio. When the community sold their hospital, she continued nursing at another hospital until responding to the need for medical personnel in Eagle Pass, on the U.S. border with Mexico, in 1996. In Eagle Pass, Sister Ursula quickly became aware of great need in Piedras Negras, across the Rio Grande, and began offering support to communities there. When she retired from nursing in 2018 her full-time ministry became responding to the needs of migrants and refugees, the poor, especially women, children and the disabled, and the many volunteers and donors who have become part of her ministry network.
Our Sister Ursula Herrera, OSB, Director of Caridad, wrote to us saying, “A scholarship we provided to one teenage girl had a significant impact on her life. She initially did not want to pursue her studies. She and her mother were abandoned by her father so she figured she would end up working in a factory just like her mother. Her teacher was very persistent and finally talked her into a scholarship. We funded her college education and sure enough she ended up working in a factory, but not in the way she envisioned. She is part of management and has been sent to several countries to start new factories. When I saw her this past October she couldn’t stop smiling. She was so appreciative of her teacher’s insistence but more so of the scholarship assistance she received for her education.”
Also, two of our recent college grads were so thankful to receive assistance from our scholarship fund. One is a young man who worked in a medical laboratory while earning his degree in phlebotomy. He now works full time as a phlebotomist as well as a certified lab technician. The other, a young woman, began receiving scholarship assistance while attending Prepa. We continued to offer her scholarship assistance while she attended college and earned her degree in social work. During the past year, she also volunteered as a teacher.
Providing youth and young adults in the region with an education offers them a greater chance at a better future. Keeping them in school can also help to prevent them from becoming human trafficking victims or using illegal drugs.
Your donation to our Caridad de Corazón scholarship fund makes a meaningful difference in young people’s lives! All funds go directly to scholarship recipients. Your support is a blessing to the individual students, and most surely creates goodness in the future, as well.
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