Sister Ursula Herrera, OSB was born in Brady, Texas, an old farming and ranching town. There were 8 children in her family, and their family was remarkably close. The family moved to Boerne when she was 2 years old. As a teenager, she was very involved in her youth group and Sodality. Father Hilsher would take the teens to church at the convent and that is how she got to know the sisters and decided to join them.
After attending high school at the convent, Sister Ursula attended college and graduated with her BS in nursing from the UT Health Science Center School of Nursing in San Antonio. She worked at St. Benedict’s Hospital and Nursing Home, as well as assisting women with food, clothing and help against abuse in San Antonio. Sister also worked at Santa Rosa Hospital Downtown, and then Santa Rosa North West Hospital in the rehabilitation unit.
In 1996, Sister Ursula was called to Eagle Pass, Texas to begin a border ministry. Caridad de Corazón, (Charity of the Heart), was established in Eagle Pass, Texas in 2000 in response to the needs of the poor and disenfranchised living in communities near the Texas/Mexico Border. The Sisters purchased a home with serves as a Mission House for volunteers who serve alongside Sister Ursula in the region. In addition to directing the Caridad ministry, Sister Ursula worked at the Maverick County Hospital District in Eagle Pass. In October 2018, after 45 years in the medical field, she retired from her position as Diabetes Management Specialist.
Sister continues to serve as Director of the Caridad ministry, welcoming many volunteer groups and youth groups to the Mission House each year to do missionary/volunteer work on both sides of the Texas/Mexico border. She coordinates these mission groups and projects. Sister also provides aid to five local orphanages, brings food to two soup kitchens, helps at a community center, and works with a scholarship program in Piedras Negras to help better children’s lives through education. In 2018, Sister began a collaborative ministry on the border, assisting in housing immigrants at the Mission House until they can move on once their families can assist in their transportation needs.
Sister Ursula happily recalls her mission work in the Yucatan, where she taught women to sew, and served as a nurse and translator. She says that experience is “Probably why I continue my mission work on the border. I have a mission heart.”