Sister Francis Rose Ruppert, CSC

(June 18, 1910 - May 22, 2012)

Word has been received of the death of Sister M. Francis Rose (Ruppert) who died at 1:10 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, in Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana.
Sister Francis Rose lived a long and productive life and enjoyed it all.  She loved to travel and explore new places.  This must have been a family characteristic, for Sister Francis Rose’s family took her, and frequently a companion, on many trips here and abroad.  She often recounted incidents from the special experiences she enjoyed during these travels.
She wrote a diary about her time in Bangladesh when she was 78 years of age and her enthusiasm fairly jumps off the pages.  In this diary she tells that she had always wanted to be a missionary, but it took her into her 70s before that dream was realized.  She called herself a “late bloomer.”
Her 65 years of active ministry were filled with joys and challenges.  Sister Francis Rose said, “I taught every grade from second through college and got educated along the way.”  Her first master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame prepared her to teach theology and Scripture at Cardinal Cushing College in Brookline, Massachusetts, for seven years; and her second master’s degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., was the foundation for her ministries in diocesan-level adult religious education for five years and in the role of director of religious education in three different parishes in the East for 11 successful years.  Her educational background and experience made a natural bridge for her to transition from these large responsibilities at age 70 to small group retreat work and individual spiritual direction at Saint Mary’s Prayer Center here on campus, but even then she never slowed down.
Sister Francis Rose’s personality was such that you knew where she stood on any issue.  She was direct and “told it like it was.”  Speaking her mind was simply part of her genuineness, and added to that quality was her innate kindness that endeared her to all.  She was a gracious lady with a heartfelt concern for those who needed extra help and was always willing to offer aid.  Even in retirement at the age of 81 her caring nature led her to invest her energy in visiting with those in special need: the homeless, nursing home patients, and the sick and elderly homebound.  She was a prayer partner for many of those to whom she ministered.
Family was very important to Sister Francis Rose and they were extremely devoted to her.  She had seven sisters and brothers, all of whom lived to an advanced age.  Her sister Erma lived to be 100, though Sister Francis Rose surpassed them all by celebrating 101 years and attributing her longevity to “good family genes.”  Her family was close-knit and caring, supporting one another in every circumstance.  Their strong faith was lived out in their daily lives and is easily illustrated in the unusual scene of the group kneeling for night prayer together in the hotel room while on their various trips.  This strong faith was lived out in Sister’s life in her deep love of the Eucharist and her devotion to the Blessed Mother and to the rosary.  She will now join her loving family, rejoicing with them for all eternity.  May Sister Francis Rose rest in peace.
Funeral arrangements for Sister Francis Rose are as follows:  Reception of the body and wake on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, at 4 p.m.  The Mass of Resurrection will be on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, at 10:30 a.m.  All of these ceremonies will take place in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto. May she rest in peace.


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