Sister Rita (Mary Harold) Smith, OSB

April 25, 1917 - August 26, 2010

Sister Rita (Mary Harold) Smith, OSB, 93, a Benedictine Sister of Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, Kansas, died Thursday, August 26, 2010, at the monastery. The vigil service will be in the monastery chapel Sunday, August 29, 2010, at 7pm, and the Mass of Resurrection will be offered there Monday, August 30, at 10:30am.

Born to Frank and Mary Galvin Smith April 25, 1917, in Kansas City, Mo., she was baptized Frances Rita at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish. She entered the Benedictine community after graduating from the Mount Academy, went on to graduate from Mount St. Scholastica College, and earned the Master’s in education with a minor in theology from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebr. Sister Rita taught for 35 years in Kansas City schools and in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska, where she was often also the principal. She chaired the business department at Lillis High School, and in later years was on staff at the libraries of Rockhurst College and Benedictine College. She was known for the precision of her work and her gentle helpful spirit.

Sister Rita was predeceased by her parents and by her brother Harold. She is survived by her brother Robert, her sisters Geraldine Shubaugh and Mary Nail, all of Overland Park, Kans.; Kathryn McCabe, Gladstone, Mo., Margaret Schrader, Merriam, Kans.; and Sister Colette Smith, OSB, Glendora, Calif.; by nieces, nephews, and by her monastic family.

Memorials may be sent to Mount St. Scholastica.

Let us remember her gratefully in our prayers.

S. Rita's memorial card

"Blessed be the name of the Lord,
both now and forever."

Ps. 113:2

Sister Rita Smith was someone her sisters could count on. Thoughtful of others, she was there to help wherever she could. Precise in keeping office records or in finishing lovely handwork, she showed similar care in her prayer and community life. She was "one hundred per cent present!" She brought a unique spirit of humor and celebration to special days and seasons, and delighted in decorating for birthdays or major feasts. Sister Rita was no less particular in her teaching for 35 years in schools of Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, and Nebraska where she was often also the principal. She chaired the business department of Lillis High School, and was on the library staff of Rockhurst College and Benedictine College. She was a meticulous staff member in the monastery development office for 14 years, and a caring assistant in Dooley Center. A graduate of Mount St. Scholastica Academy and College, she earned the Master's in education from Creighton University with a minor in theology. Born the oldest child of Frank and Mary Galvin Smith, her care for family (five sisters and two brothers) lasted throughout her life. She was always happy to visit with them, and rejoiced in seeing her Benedictine sister, Sister Colette, from Glendora, California. Let us remember Sister Rita in grateful prayer.

Reflection given at the vigil service for S. Rita by S. Noreen Hurter.