Sister Celesta Rudolph

We commend to your charity the soul of our beloved

Sister Celesta Rudolph

who departed this life on October 15, 2012

in the seventy-fourth year of her religious life

Age: 90 years, 1 months, 11 days

Resurrection Service: Thursday, October 18, 2012

Complete Funeral arrangements are as follows: Viewing in the Community Room at Providence Heights on Wednesday, October 17 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. and on Thursday, October 18 from noon-3:30 p.m. Wake Service in the Community Room on Wednesday, October 17 at 7 p.m. Mass of Resurrection on Thursday, October 18 at 4 p.m. in the Mother of Divine Providence Chapel at Providence Heights.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach … Whatever you do, whether in speech or in action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus …” [Col. 3:16–17]

Agnes, second of nine children born to Aloysius and Gertrude [Mansmann], entered the community from St. Walburga Parish in Pittsburgh, where she had attended elementary school before beginning her high school years at Divine Providence Academy.

Named Sister Celesta, she received her formation and grew in her understanding of God’s call in her life, deepening her experience of prayer and community and, after three years, professing her vows as a Sister of Divine Providence. For twenty years of ministry as a teacher, first in elementary and later in high schools of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Sister Celesta also studied, earning a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, and “let the word of Christ dwell in her richly” as she taught. Seeing her potential for higher education and her facility with the German language, the Community asked Sister Celesta to go to Germany, where she attended the University of Frieburg/Breisgau and received a Ph.D. in modern German literature. Sister Celesta’s doctoral dissertation was published and can be found in many German libraries even today.

Returning to the United States, where three years earlier the Community had established La Roche College, Sister Celesta served for the next forty years, first as a professor in the humanities division, and later as the college archivist. She supported individuals and groups by offering tutorial help and serving as a translator. Faculty, administration, and students of La Roche were touched by her positive presence of service and support. During her years at La Roche, Sister Celesta offered leadership within the college and beyond, sharing her knowledge and skills in several national and international modern language organizations. She was named an Outstanding Educator of America, listed in the World’s Who’s Who among Women and received recognition in a number of other international and national publications.

Sister Celesta was a quiet, caring presence among her Sisters in Community, generously sharing her time and talent wherever it was needed. As her strength and health failed, Sister Celesta sought to witness the love and patience that had deepened in her through the years, living the admonition, “Whatever you do, whether in speech or in action, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God through him.”

Written by Sister Mary Francis Fletcher

If you would like to make a gift to the Sisters of Divine Providence in memory of Sister Celesta, visit our donation page