PROVIDENCE — Sister Rita Kiernan, RSM, (formerly Sister Mary Fidelia) 98, a Sister of Mercy for 79 years, died Saturday, May 2, at HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center.
She was the daughter of the late James E. and Ellen A. (Kennedy) Kiernan. She is survived by her brother, John J. Kiernan, several nieces and nephews and many grand-nieces and grand-nephews. She was pre-deceased by her sisters Helen, Virginia, and Mary and her brothers James and Thomas.
Sister Rita entered the Mercy Community on September 8, 1940 and professed her final vows on August 16, 1946. Inscribed in her ring was the motto, “All with Love.” She lived this motto faithfully in her years of service.
During her ministry in education in the Fall River and Providence diocesan schools, she taught every elementary grade from the first to the eighth. Because of her administrative skills, she also spent time as principal in a number of schools in Rhode Island and even ventured out to Holy Redeemer School in Central America. In later years, she served as language arts coordinator and taught adult education classes. When she retired, she still used her gifts in volunteer capacities. Sister Rita’s many years of ministry ended only when she died. She will rest in peace now.
A private burial service will be held Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at Resurrection Cemetery Chapel, Cumberland. A Memorial Mass and Celebration of Life will be held for Sister Rita at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Sister’s memory to the Sisters of Mercy, 15 Highland View Road, Cumberland, RI 02864 will be appreciated.