Aston, PA—Sister Rita Francis Fiefhaus, OSF, 94, died in Assisi House on May 25, 2012. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 71 years. Sister Rita Francis was born Mary Isabel Fiefhaus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she was a member of St. Bonaventure Parish. She entered the congregation in 1938 and professed her first vows in 1940. A graduate of J.W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School, Sister Rita Francis earned a B.S. in Education from Villanova University. She ministered primarily in education and parish ministry. In her free time she loved listening to and playing music—especially the piano and organ. She gave piano lessons for more than 30 years and was often the organist at Mass on Sunday.
Sister Rita Francis Fiefhaus ministered for 24 years in the Diocese of Camden where she served as the Director of Religious Education for St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Absecon (1975-1999). She also ministered for 12 years in the Diocese of Trenton at St. Raphael School (1950-1951, 1954-1965).
Sister Rita Francis served for 16 years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia where she taught at Our Lady of Consolation School, Tacony (1939-1940); Hallahan High School (1940-1941); and Little Flower High School (1965-1966). She continued her ministry in Philadelphia in prayer ministry at St. Agnes Medical Center Convent (1999-2006) and Assisi House in Aston where she served until her death (2006-2012).
Sister Rita Francis served nine years in the Diocese of Allentown where she taught at Holy Ghost School, Bethlehem (1941-1944) and Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Minersville (1944-1950). She also ministered for nine years in the Diocese of Harrisburg where she taught at St. Gertrude School in Lebanon (1966-1975). Additional ministry includes three years in Fall River, Massachusetts, at St. Mary’s Home in New Bedford (1951-1954).
All services will be held in Assisi House, 600 Red Hill Road, on Wednesday, May 30. A Christian Wake Service will be held at 9:30 A.M followed by viewing. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 A.M. Burial will be in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Aston. Sister Rita Francis is survived by her sister, Anne Bahr; nieces; a nephew; grandnieces; grandnephews; and by her Franciscan family. Donations in her name can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.