Sister Rita St. Onge (Rita de la Croix) Enters Life Eternal

Sister Rita St Onge

The long and fruitful earthly life of Sr. Rita St. Onge (99 years) blossomed into life never ending on the evening of October 27, 2016.

Rita greeted the world in Putnam, CT on August 30, 1917, the pride and joy of Alma Desautels and William A. St. Onge. She attended the local catholic elementary school, St. Mary, and later Putnam Catholic Academy for her high school experience. Sister entered the Congregation of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit in Putnam in 1935 and made her first profession of vows at the Motherhouse in St. Brieuc, France on August 23, 1938.

She remained in Brittany after her profession and ministered as a high school teacher and instructor  in the Juniorate of the Congregation in Auray, France.  Since the USA was engaged in the Second World War at that time, Sister Rita and several companions were detained as internees in a German Camp in Vittel, France.

Once back in the states, Rita earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at the former Annhurst College and worked as assistant sub mistress in the Novitiate in Putnam. From here she returned to the classroom at her alma mater, St. Mary of the Visitation in Putnam and 5 years later at St. Anne School in Waterbury, CT.  In 1949 she was named American representative of the US Province to the Congregation’s General Council in Brittany, France. Upon her return to Connecticut she served as mistress of novices at the Provincial House and in 1962 she was designated Provincial for the US Province. After serving two full mandates in this position, she chose to attend Providence College to earn her MA degree in Theology. She then joined the teaching staff at Annhurst College where she remained until 1980.  Sister then ministered in her home parish in Putnam serving the community as CCD Coordinator and Pastoral Assistant until her retirement to the Provincial House in 2001. Declining health, particularly her vision loss, led her to transfer to the Health Care Center in May of 2009. From here she moved to the new community at St. Joseph Living Center in Windham, CT in early July of 2016.

Besides her Sisters in religion, Sr. Rita leaves several nieces and nephews. A gathering to honor Sister will be held at the Provincial House 72 Church St. in Putnam on Sunday, October 30 from 5-8 pm with a prayer service at 7:15 p.m. The funeral mass will be celebrated on Monday, October 31 also in the chapel at the Provincial House at 11:00 a.m. and interment will be in the DHS plot in the St. Mary of the Visitation Cemetery on Providence St. in Putnam.

Gifts in Sister’s memory/honor may be sent to the DHS Retirement Fund at 72 Church Street Putnam, CT 06260.

Mon âme est remplie d’allé reposerai en paix dans l’Esprit de mon Seigneur.



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72 Church Street  Putnam, Connecticut 06260 USA  860-928-0891

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