Sister Rita Burns, formerly Sister Mary Timothy, entered religious life from St. Mary’s parish in McKees Rocks, Pa. She credits her parents with influencing her decision to become a Sister, as they put God first. Through them, she experienced their lives of faith.
She began teaching first-grade at St. Basil’s in Carrick, Pa. (1956–59). She taught various other grades, but mostly middle school students, at St. Mary’s in Sharpsburg, Pa. (1959–62), St. Isaac Jogues in St. Clare Shores, Mi. (1962–67), Blessed Sacrament in Warren, Oh. (1967–73), St. Martin’s in Pittsburgh’s West End neighborhood (1973–76), Sacred Heart in New Philadelphia, Oh. (1976–83), Saints Peter and Paul in Beaver, Pa. (1983–87), and St. Sylvester in Brentwood, Pa. (1987–96). Sister Rita taught sixth grade at Providence Heights Alpha School (1996–2007). As a teacher, her goal was to make learning effective, enjoyable, and challenging. She loved to encourage students to recognize their God-given talents and to use them for good.
Sister Rita has experienced God as a constant companion in her everyday living. About the future of religious life, she says, “The future of religious life is in God’s plan. Our Community prayer that sums this up well is, ‘God did provide, God does provide, God will provide,’ and I am open to how God will provide.” Presently, she volunteers on the Providence Heights staff.