Sister Rita M. Owens, O.P

Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, January 31, 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.

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The Dominican Sisters welcomed her body at St. Dominic Villa on Monday, January 30 at 4:00 p.m. Wake service was held at 7:00 p.m. on Monday; Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, January 31. Burial was at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery.

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.