Sister Rita Miller, a member of Annunciation Monastery, Bismarck, entered eternal life on Monday, May 15, at CHI St. Alexius.
Visitation at Annunciation Monastery will be Wednesday, May 17 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with a vigil service at 7 p.m. in the Chapel of Annunciation Monastery.
The Mass of Christian Burial is Thursday, May 18, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Annunciation Monastery with visitation from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.
Sister Rita (baptized Lorraine) was born April 29, 1929, the tenth of the thirteen children of Engelbert and Agatha (Feist) Miller in Hague, ND. Her call to religious life was nurtured by both her family, her teachers, and by the sisters she met as a 13-year-old hospitalized in Fargo, ND, with surgeries related to osteomyelitis. She came to Annunciation Monastery following high school graduation in 1947. Sister Rita made her religious profession in 1949 and in 2019 celebrated her 70th anniversary of monastic profession with the Sisters of Annunciation Monastery.
Following graduation as a St. Alexius RN in 1952, Sister Rita served as night supervisor at St. Alexius. Two years later she attended Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, for physical therapy training. From 1955 until the COVID pandemic in 2020, Sister Rita served in health care. This included 25 years in the St. Alexius PT department, a year as director of the monastery health center, and the remaining years at St. Alexius in nursing for 12 years, as chaplain of Home Health and Hospice for seven years, and concluding ministry as Hospitality Hostess. She spoke of the realization that “the Lord’s Footprints” had been with her the entire journey.
Generous of heart and spirit, Sister Rita viewed her life as a “journey of growth” and believed that to experience God’s love one “must be willing to give freely and willingly of yourself.” Relaxation activities included walking, working puzzles, playing cards, reading, writing numerous letters and cards, and gardening. With a hearty laugh, accompanied by a large smile, warm welcome, and grateful heart, Sister Rita made numerous friends over the years. Always close to her family, her last years included a daily phone visit with her sister in Spokane, which included their great enthusiasm for Gonzaga basketball.
Preceded in death by her parents, eight brothers, and three sisters, Sister Rita is survived by her sister, Rosemary (Dave) Young and a sister-in-law Angie Miller, all of Spokane, Washington, her nieces, nephews, and the Sisters of Annunciation Monastery.
Memorials may be made to Annunciation Monastery.