Volunteer Spotlight

The Board of Directors pay tribute to Sister Ida Robertine Berresheim, CSJ, who served with Centro Mujeres de la Esperanza from 1994 to 2011. 

A Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Sister Ida's  interest in the missions began in grade school, especially after reading Holy Childhood magazine.

Sister Ida came to Centro Mujeres de la Esperanza following a long history of serving in  education and administration at  the elementary, secondary and college levels. Sister Ida had also served in leadership roles in her religious congregation, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.  In 1982, her community responded to a call from Pope John XXIII to send religious to Latin America. Sister Ida traveled to Peru, where she experienced tense times during a revolutionary period. Sister Ida was especially struck by the people's faith and how they express it in little ways. "There was much more joy than sorrow, even though the people suffered a great deal." Having lived and ministered in her congregations’ missions in Peru from 1982 to 1990, she sought to accompany women of the U.S.-Mexican border.  After serving ten years as a co-director for Centro Mujeres de la Esperanza, Sister Ida retired from that position, but continued to serve with Centro Mujeres de la Esperanza until October 2011, when she returned to St. Louis, Missouri, where she serves at the Congregational Offices of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Sister Ida Berresheim was awarded the Oak of Justice Award from the Diocese of El Paso for her years of work for biblical justice, her service to the poor in many organizations within the diocese, and for her service to women immigrants through her border ministry at Centro Mujeres de la Espreranza.  The award was presented to Sister Ida by Bishop Armando X. Ochoa at the 2011 Peace and Justice Awards dinner on September 29, 2011. The Oak of Justice awards are given to call attention to and encourage many of the peace and justice efforts going forward in the diocese.

In 1987 Sr. Ida authored  "A Yes to Life:  25 Year Celebration of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in Peru." She was a member of Pax Christi El Paso, and a member of the Border Women, an inter-faith group of women promoting social justice in the El Paso, Ciudad Juárez, Las Cruces border region. Since retiring from Centro Mujeres de la Esperanza, Sister Ida travels and speaks on the mission endeavors of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Sister Ida has been a guiding light in the border region, a selfless servant, a model of compassion, and an inspiration for all of us to step out of our comfort zones to help those in need. Centro Mujeres de la Esperanza would not be where it is today, but for the caring heart and dedication of Sister Ida Robertine Berresheim.