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A Sister of Charity of Nazareth, was called to her heavenly home on Monday, October 9, 2017, at the age of 95 and in her 81st year of religious life. Sister Rita Jo entered the Congregation of the Vincentian Sisters of Charity from St. Michael Parish in Homestead, PA in 1936. She received her Bachelor of Education, Master of Education and Master of Music Education degrees from Duquesne University. Sister Rita Jo also attended the Brock University and Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada. After teaching for 21 years in the United States in the Dioceses of Pittsburgh, Greensburg and Springfield-Cape Girardeau, MO, Sister Rita Jo was assigned to teach in Fonthill and Scarborough, Canada where she also served as Music Supervisor for ten years. In addition to her teaching, Sister Rita Jo served as Hospital Chaplain at St. Catherine's General Hospital in Ontario, Canada for three years. In 1988, Sister Rita Jo returned to the Pittsburgh area where she served in Pastoral Ministry at local parishes and at Vincentian Regency Nursing Home until her retirement in 2007. Afterwards she served in the prayer ministry at Saint Louise Convent. Declining health necessitated her move to the Vincentian Home in 2016. Sister Rita Jo's music enabled her to travel the world where she sang in major basilicas throughout Europe, including the Vatican with a Pittsburgh choir. A quick wit, beautiful smile and energetic personality characterized Sister Rita Jo. While in ministry at Vincentian Regency, she energized the residents by conducting lively sing-a-longs with entertaining activities as well as attending to their spiritual needs. Staff and residents remember her generosity as she often surprised them with delicious treats. Sister Rita Jo was preceded in death by her parents, Michael and Anna Hancsak; and her brothers, Joseph, Michael, Albert, Edward, Father Agustine, Charles and Cyril. She is survived by her sisters, Dorothy Graham and Alma Bajuscak; brothers Richard and Ray; nephews and her Sisters in Community. Friends will be received at St. Louise Convent, 8200 McKnight Road, Pittsburgh, PA on Friday, October 13, 2017 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be offered in the Convent Chapel on Friday, October 13, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. Memorial donations may be made to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Office of the Congregational Advancement, P.O. Box 9, Nazareth, KY 40048-0009. Arrangements by DEVLIN FUNERAL HOME, INC.
Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Oct. 12, 2017
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