We are sad to report that Maude “Mother” Batie, founder of the United Sisters of Charity, passed away on Sunday of heart failure. We lost a wonderful woman who, at 83, was still running the soup kitchen she started just 40 years ago.

We first met Mother Batie in the fall, when her soup kitchen was near closing after budget cuts took away the funding they so desperately needed. With your kindness and support, donations equaled $100,000, allowing the soup kitchen to remain open for at least two and a half years. A Time to Help devoted a monthly project to making capital improvements to the building, while Detroit Dream Scholars created letters painted on Masonite that, for the first time, put Mother Batie’s name on the building.

Mother Batie opened the kitchen in 1974 after, as she tells it, hearing the voice of God, who told her to inquire about a building for sale. “Sometimes they say to me, ‘‘You’re like a blessing.’ But I say, ‘‘The Lord did it. He just used me,'” Batie said of her work with the kitchen. For more of Mother Batie’s life and work, please listen to the moving extended interview with her below.

If you would like to help keep the United Sisters of Charity running in her honor, you can donate through SAY Detroit at saydetroit.org (please add “Mother Batie” in the comments section of the donation form).