Rita Burns, CDP

Sister Rita Burns, formerly Sister Mary Timothy, entered religious life from St. Mary Help of Christians parish in Pittsburgh's McKees Rocks neighborhood. 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.

Sister Rita began her ministry teaching first grade at St. Basil’s in Carrick, PA (1956–59) and continued on to teach 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 also taught sixth grade at Providence Heights Alpha School in Allison Park, PA (1996–2007). Since retiring from teaching, Sister Rita was a caregiver to her mother (2007-09), served on the staff at Providence Heights (2009-2023) and dedicates her time to community service at St. Mary Help of Christians (2023). She said, "As a teacher, my goal was to make learning effective, enjoyable and challenging. I loved to encourage students to recognize their God-given talents and to use them for good. ... Each ministry has been a challenging and invigorating service. It has been, and continues to be, a blessed journey."

Sister Rita has experienced God as a constant companion in her everyday living. About the future of religious life, she said, “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.”

Self-described as supportive, caring and flexible, Sister Rita enjoys writing letters and sending cards. She said, "Community members, family and friends are important to me."

CLICK HERE to make a gift in honor of Sister Rita's 70th Jubilee.