Sister Rita's Story

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Sister Rita Black died Thursday, March 30, 2017, in Mother Theodore Hall, St. Mary-of-the-Woods. She was born Dec. 18, 1927, in Terre Haute, to James F. Black and Marie Elizabeth Huber Black and was given the name Rita Mae.
Sister entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence on July 22, 1945 and professed Final Vows on Jan. 23, 1953. She earned a bachelor's degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, a master's degree from Indiana State University, and an LPN from Indiana Vocational Technical School. In her 71 years as a Sister of Providence, she ministered for 24 years in schools in Indiana, Illinois and California. She taught primary grades at St. Benedict, Terre Haute, 1967-70 and St. Margaret Mary, Terre Haute, 1970-75. Leaving teaching, she earned her LPN degree and served in the Motherhouse infirmary for nine years. She then moved to Alabama and ministered in the area of rural health care for 12 years. In 1996, she returned to Indiana and continued ministering in the area of nursing both at Connecting Link in West Terre Haute and St. Ann Clinic in Terre Haute. Beginning in 2010, she dedicated herself totally to the ministry of prayer
Sister Rita's presence brought with it a serenity that one sensed was rooted in prayer. A person with considerable art talent, her favored medium was water color. She learned the skill of spinning in the late 90s, producing fine wool yarn from the fleece of the Motherhouse alpaca herd.
She is survived by a sister, Mary Kathryn Powell of North Judson.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Lois Makosky; and two brothers, James Black and Donald Black
The wake is Sunday, April 2, 2017, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Church of the Immaculate Conception with the wake service at 4:30 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial is Monday, April 3, 2017, at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Daniel R. Hopcus presiding. Burial is in the cemetery of the Sisters of Providence. DeBaun Funeral Homes and Crematory assisted with arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to Sisters of Providence, 1 Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876.
Published on March 31, 2017
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