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Mission Helper remembered fondly in Middletown

A funeral Mass for Sister Rita Tschudi, a member of the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart for 63 years who served for 14 years in a Frederick County parish, was offered at Stella Maris Chapel in Timonium Oct. 24. Sister Rita died Oct. 19 at Stella Maris, at age 86.

A native of Pittsburgh, Sister Rita had missions in Colorado, Connecticut and Florida, as well as on Army bases in Germany.

One of her last ministries was as director of religious education at Holy Family Catholic Community in Middletown, where she served from 1991 to 2004.

Monsignor Robert J. Jaskot, pastor of Holy Family, remembered Sister Rita in a message to his parishioners that recalled how she epitomized the spirit of service instilled by Mother Demetrias, the founder of the Mission Helpers. Sister Rita inspired others to give of themselves “in a manner even Tom Sawyer would have envied,” he said.

“She truly took to heart and shared widely the charism of her community,” Monsignor Jaskot wrote. “She radiated joyful service and did not hesitate to ask others to help her.

“So many of our great volunteers told me they were ‘on the sidelines’ of service, faithful but not active in the parish until Sister Rita approached them. She could see gifts in others that they themselves had yet to discover. Sister Rita inspired them to offer those gifts in service to Christ and God’s people.”

Since 2010, Sister Rita had served in Volunteer Ministry at the Mission Helper Center in Towson.