Sister Rita Mary was teacher, principal in Omaha

Servant of Mary Sister Rita Mary Morrissette, whose 76 years of religious life included service at schools of the Omaha archdiocese, died April 17 in Omaha. She was 94.

A funeral Mass was held April 19 at the Servants of Mary motherhouse chapel in Omaha, with burial in the motherhouse cemetery. 

Sister Rita Mary, whose religious name was Sister Mary Christopher, was born in Massena, New York. She entered the Servants of Mary in 1945, professing first vows in 1947 and final vows in 1952. 

She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Creighton University in Omaha.

For much of her career, Sister Rita Mary taught or served as principal at several schools operated by the Servants of Mary in Detroit; Massena; East St. Louis, Illinois; Sioux City, Iowa and Sterling, New Jersey.

In Omaha, she taught at the former St. Rose of Lima School from 1951 to 1954 and Christ the King School from 1960 to 1961. In 1963 she became principal at Holy Name School, where she served until 1971.

Sister Rita Mary served as principal at schools in Detroit and Sioux City before returning to Holy Name for a second stint as principal from 1981 to 1984.

She later served in parish ministry and as a volunteer at parishes in New Jersey and New York. Upon returning to the Servants of Mary motherhouse in 2013, she was actively involved in various community ministries, including receptionist and seamstress.

Sister Rita Mary used her talents for sewing to make bags, aprons, coasters, quilts, table runners, hats and other items for her community and others who requested them. During the pandemic she also sewed more than 1,000 masks for family, friends, nursing homes and others.

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