Rita (Johnelle) Marschall, OSB
Saint Benedict’s Monastery
St Joseph, Minn.
January 23, 1933 – November 20, 2015
The funeral Mass for Sister Rita (Johnelle) Marschall will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 28, 2015, at the Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph. S. Rita died, age 82, on Friday, November 20, 2015, at Saint Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud. Interment of cremated remains will be in the monastery cemetery. Friends may call at Saint Scholastica Convent on Friday, November 27, from 1-6 p.m., or for a Vigil Prayer Service at 7 p.m. at Saint Benedict’s Monastery. Visitation continues at 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral.
The daughter of George and Adeline (Ries) Marschall, S. Rita was born in Hastings, Minn., where she attended St. Boniface grade school, later graduating from Bethlehem Academy in Faribault, Minn. She entered Saint Benedict’s Monastery on September 11, 1951; was received into the novitiate June 18, 1952, as Sister Johnelle; made first monastic profession on July 11, 1953, and perpetual monastic profession on July 11, 1956. She reverted to her baptismal name in 1968.
A graduate of the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, S. Rita held a B.A. degree in mathematics and minors in physics, English and philosophy. She earned an M.S. degree in mathematics education at the University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, and an M.A. in pastoral ministry at St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minn. S. Rita also studied at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis; University of North Dakota, Grand Forks; University of Minnesota in Duluth; University of San Francisco in California; and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
S. Rita served as an educator teaching middle grades at St. Anthony’s, St. Cloud, and in New Munich, Minn. She taught high school at Cathedral High School, St. Cloud; St. Boniface High School, Cold Spring, Minn.; Saint Benedict’s High School, St. Joseph, and Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School in Edina, Minn. She taught math during summers in Nassau, Bahamas, and at Saint Benedict’s College and also helped with the Upward Bound Program in Ogden, Utah.
Teaching was not S. Rita’s only ministry. She served in pastoral ministry in in variety of parishes in Minnesota, including Long Prairie, Hopkins, St. Peter and Maple Grove, and in campus ministry at St. John’s Prep, Collegeville. From 1991-93, she was Director of Communications and Development for Saint Benedict’s Monastery.
In 2002, S. Rita moved to Saint Scholastica Convent in St. Cloud, where she served as a foster grandparent for Catholic Charities, as well as being involved in community living and a special ministry of prayer.
She is survived by her Benedictine community, a sister, Theresa Magula (Whitter, Calif.), sisters-in-law, Marlys Marschall, Colleen Marschall, Marguerita Marschall, and by nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by brothers Lawrence, Bernard, George and John and by a sister, Dorothy Schaffer.
Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict Retirement Fund.