A funeral Mass for Sister Marie Thérèse Ruthmann, VHM, was celebrated May 21 in the Chapel of the Visitation. She died May 14 at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis. She was 89 years old.
Mary Helen Ruthmann was born on Aug. 18, 1932, in St. Louis to Arthur Aloys Ruthmann and Mary Rose (Kelemen) Ruthmann. She entered the Visitation of Holy Mary community in St. Louis on Aug. 21, 1950, where she was given the name Sister Marie Thérèse. She professed temporary vows in 1952 and final vows in 1955.
Sister Marie Thérèse earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Fontbonne College (now University), a master’s degree in English from Saint Louis University and a master’s degree in theology from Manhattanville College. She taught English and theology at Visitation Academy, serving as chair of both departments. She established the Apostolic Service Program and Pro-Life Club, and she led four summer student trips to Europe. She served as monastic superior, federation councilor, librarian and many other roles in her 72 years of religious life.
She authored the history of Visitation Academy in St. Louis, “Educating the Mind and Heart.” She summed up her own life with a quote from her beloved Geoffrey Chaucer, “Gladly does she learn and gladly teach.”
She was the sister of Joan Bazzetta, Rita Foral and Stephen Ruthmann. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery.