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Obituary | Sr. Anita Lapeyre, RSCJ

A funeral Mass for Sister Anita (Tita) Lapeyre was celebrated Dec. 16 in the Religious of the Sacred Heart's Oakwood chapel in Atherton, Calif.

Sister Anita, 79, died Dec. 4, in Atherton. Born in New Orleans, she attended schools of the Sacred Heart. In 1956, after her freshman year at Maryville College (now university) in St. Louis, she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart. She made first vows in 1959 and went to Rome to prepare for final vows, which she professed in 1964. Sister Anita continued her studies at Maryville, earning a bachelor's degree in history in 1965. She received a master's degree in education counseling in 1969 from Loyola University in New Orleans and a management certificate in corporate ministry from St. Louis University. She later participated in a training program in clinical pastoral education at St. Mary's Health Center in St. Louis, where she was certified by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.

She taught at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles and City House in St. Louis and in Louisiana and Texas. Sister Anita served as dean of admissions at Maryville College when it moved from an all-women's to a co-educational institution. While at Maryville, she also served as a college counselor. At the conclusion of her work at the Regis Retirement Center in St. Charles in 1986, she served as coordinator for the U.S. Catholic Conference Commission on Certification and Accreditation. She later wrote the standards for certification of chaplains and accreditation of Catholic training programs.

In 1987, Sister Anita moved to El Cajon, Calif., where she helped at the St. Madeleine Sophie Center for adults with developmental disabilities, a work established by the Society in 1966. She began the first certified pastoral education program outside a hospital setting, which led to the founding of the Center for Urban Ministry, a CPE program that used community sites for students' placements. She served as the center's executive director from 1996 to 2008. This work started her collaboration with the Episcopal Community Services, which later expanded to the Los Angeles area and merged with St. Camillus Center for Pastoral Care. Sister Anita moved to the Society's retirement community at Oakwood in 2010, to become director of pastoral care.

Survivors include four brothers, Paul, Felix, Michel and Francis Lapeyre; and four sisters, Marguerite Young, Odile Lagarde, Jeanne Adams and Madeleine Torre. Burial was in the Oakwood Cemetery. 

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