Sister Christine was dedicated to serving the poor

Sister Christine Ruth Stevenson, of the Franciscan Sisters of Joy, died Nov. 4 in West Des Moines, Iowa. She was 79.

Funeral and burial arrangements are pending. A private service will be planned.

An active Poor Clare sister, Sister Christine entered the Franciscan Sisters of Joy in 1999 and made her final vows in Omaha in 2002.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, she studied mechanical engineering and addictions counseling at Rutgers University in New Brunswick-Piscataway, New Jersey, and received certifications in developmental disabilities from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, and the University of Michigan/Lansing.

After working for AT&T as a mechanical engineer for 22 years, she felt called to serve God’s poor and moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, where she worked as the director of a women’s and men’s shelter and Samaritan House Soup Kitchen for two years.

She then spent 11 years at Catholic Charities in the diocese of Patterson, New Jersey, as director of a group home for developmentally disabled adults. At the same time, she also founded the Upper Room Catholic Worker House in Passaic Park, New Jersey, and provided shelter for street women struggling with addiction and recovery.

Upon leaving Catholic Charities, Sister Christine moved to Omaha in 2003 to become director of Social Services for Project Welcome, serving the Sudanese refugee community. During her eight years of service there, the Sudanese women affectionately referred to her as “Momma Chris.”

Sister Christine moved to West Des Moines in 2017. 

She is survived by the Franciscan Sisters of Joy “who will miss her loving wisdom, tender heart, and fidelity to serving God’s poor,” according to a written tribute by the sisters.

Memorials in her honor can be sent to All Saints Catholic School, 1335 S. 10th St., Omaha, NE 68108.

Sign up for weekly updates and news from the Archdiocese of Omaha!
This is default text for notification bar