Sister Rita Agnes Sheehan, CSJ
Sister Rita Agnes Sheehan (Sister Katherine), CSJ, 91, died Monday, February 9, 2009, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Sister Rita had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 71 years.
Sister Rita was born March 28, 1917, in Little Falls, NY, daughter of the late Timothy and Catherine Shanahan Sheehan. After graduating from St. Mary’s Academy, Little Falls, Sister Rita attended Syracuse University. On March 19, 1937, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph and professed final vows on August 15, 1942. Sister Rita received a bachelor’s degree in science and mathematics and a master’s degree in biology, both from The College of Saint Rose. In addition, she received a master’s degree in physics from Boston College and pursued post-graduate studies in physics and mathematics at the University of Chicago. For nearly 50 years, Sister Rita taught mathematics and science in schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses and concluded her years of ministry in Mulberry Hill Ceramics Shop at St. Joseph’s Provincial House.
Sister Rita Agnes was a dedicated teacher who worked to promote the study of math and science, especially to young women. A gifted motivator, she focused on her students’ strengths and guided them into roles most suited to their abilities. Sister Rita was a woman of faith and service and will be remembered as a gracious, thoughtful Sister of St. Joseph who treasured her family, her friends and her religious community.
Sister Rita Agnes is survived by her beloved nieces and nephews and their families and by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. She was predeceased by five sisters: Helen Gaffney; Sister Katherine Elizabeth Sheehan, CSJ; Julia Gressler; Mary Nash; and her infant sister, Genevieve Sheehan; by two brothers: Timothy and Francis Sheehan; and by many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Rita Agnes’ funeral Liturgy was held on Thursday, February 12, 2009, from the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Interment was in Our Lady Queen of Virgins Cemetery on the Provincial House grounds. Contributions in Sister Rita’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.