Owens, Sr. Rita Marie, O.P. (Patricia Marie Owens)
03/25/1937 - 01/27/2017
Sr. Rita Owens, O.P. entered eternal life on Friday, January 27, 2017. Sr. Rita was born in Port Arthur, TX, on March 25, 1937, to the late Fred and Dorothy Fulda Owens. She is survived by her brother Don and sister-in-law Doris, nephew Bart, niece Patrice Kihlken, cousins, and a host of friends.
Sister attended St. Mary School and Bishop Byrne High School (Port Arthur), graduating in 1956; and she joined the Dominican Sisters of Houston on September 8, 1956. She earned a B.A. at Dominican College, a Masters in Education at the University of Houston, and a Masters in Religious Education at the University of St. Thomas. Her teaching career included these schools: St. Peter the Apostle, St. Francis de Sales as principal, St. Christopher (all in Houston), St. Anthony (Beaumont), St. Gregory (Whittier, CA). Her ministry moved to parish work from 1975-87 at St. Frances Cabrini, Christ the King (Houston), St. Charles (Nederland). In 1987 her social ministry began as coordinator of the North Main Coalition. In 1988 she and Sr. Justin Farinella co-founded Wellsprings Village, Inc., a nonprofit offering hope for homeless and abused women. There she held various roles: Associate Director, Program Director, and Development Director until 2011.
Sr. Rita will be remembered for her social justice advocacy and her ever-ready willingness to converse about current political issues.
The Dominican Sisters will welcome her body to St. Dominic Villa on Monday, January 30 at 4:00 p.m. Wake service will be at 7:00 p.m. on Monday; Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Burial is at Forest Park, Lawndale.
In lieu of usual remembrances donations may be made to Dominican Sisters, 6501 Almeda Road, Houston, TX 77021 or Wellsprings Village, Inc. P.O. Box 311017, Houston, TX 77231.