101 Stories: Ruth Holtel

By The Children's Theatre

Celebrate TCT’s 101st season as it comes to a close as we applaud and appreciate those who contributed to the organization’s magic throughout our century-long journey.  During 10 weeks of recognition, we honor individuals who have been instrumental in the success of TCT, and who have not only helped TCT grow in mission, but also thrive, thanks to their passion.  It is these people and their moments in our history that shaped TCT to become what it is today. We encourage you to consider giving a gift in their honor to ensure the sustainability of TCT’s mission for the next 100+ years. 

Ruth Holtel

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is proud to host a very special volunteer who works on projects at TCT’s Red Bank headquarters: Ms. Ruth Holtel, who is 91 years-young!

Ruth Holtel was born in Oldenburg, Indiana in 1929.  She entered the convent of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Providence, Rhode Island in 1949. She was sent to Pakistan in 1955 and worked there for seventeen years. In 1972, she returned to the United States to begin a whole new life as a lay person.  

In her memoir, Ruth Holtel, The Ex-Nun’s Story, My Life Journey, Ms. Holtel says:

“Life continues to go on for me at the age of 90.  Thank God for health, I lost no time in filling my life with new volunteer work and new friends.  I passed by the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati one day, walked into the building and asked to volunteer.  Mary Wright lost no time in signing me up for two days a week in the morning.”

She continues:  “I love my “Mickey Mouse” jobs at the theatre.  One day it is filing, putting data in the computer, filling bags with candy, sorting ticket stubs, and all “the important work” that cannot be done by the professional office workers and actors/actresses.   Every person at the theatre has been a “blessing in disguise.”  Then, to fill in the other three days of the week, I volunteered with Catholic Charities as a teacher/tutor for the ESL program.  This has put me in touch, once again with Catholic Charities and my global missionary spirit.  Who cannot love the refugees and immigrants coming through those doors every day with courage and hope and deep faith!  I keep learning so much from people of every walk of life.” 

Would you honor Ruth Holtel with a gift to recognize the impact made on TCT?