Chillán, Chile — On the surface, Casa Ursulina can be described as a roomy two-story house founded by an Ursuline Sister of Mount St. Joseph, Kentucky, a space where struggling women from Chillán, Chile, gather for socials and crafting lessons, making products they can sell at local fairs for spending money.
But the real help the women get is deeper than their acquired skills and side income.
Local psychologists and social workers prescribe joining Casa Ursulina to their depressed patients, and women establish friendships and mutual listening they otherwise lack in their homes.
They develop "a sense of connection, having a group of people who just accept you like you are, no demands. ... A lot of them talk about how this was what got them out of depression," said Ursuline Sr. Mimi Ballard, who founded the center with seven Chilean women more than 20 years ago.