Sister Mary Annrita followed her desire to become a Sister of Mercy at age 17, no doubt encouraged by the Sisters of Mercy at Mercy Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and by her aunts who were members of the Mercy Community. On September 8, 1950, she began her novitiate, and on August 16, 1956, she made perpetual vows as a Sister of Mercy.
Sister Annrita served as a primary grades teacher and reading consultant in Michigan’s Catholic schools for 24 years. She prepared for this ministry at Mercy College of Detroit and at Cardinal Stritch College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she specialized in teaching reading. Children in multiple cities were given an introduction to reading, writing and arithmetic and also prepared for their First Communion by this gentle woman.
Sister Annrita’s gracious personality and educational background led her to serve as hostess at Mercy Center and as director of the RENEW program at St. Philip Parish in Battle Creek, Michigan. She then ministered for several years at McAuley Center and worked with Hospice of Southeastern Michigan. In 2001, she became director of pastoral care at St. Joseph Shrine in Grass Lake and then spent several years caring for sick relatives.
Sister Annrita is fondly remembered as a quiet, joyful person who was always concerned about others and could bring a ray of sunshine even—especially—on a gloomy day. Sisters who worked and lived with her remember her gracious, generous personality, infectious laughter, and acceptance of a long-term disabling illness. Her devotion to Mary was deep and included at least one Rosary a day. Many remarked how fitting it was that she died on the Feast of Mary, Mother of God.