A funeral Mass will be offered Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. at the Sisters of Bon Secours Chapel in Marriottsville for Bon Secours Sister Mary Rita Nangle.
Sister Mary Rita died Aug. 13 after a battle with cancer.
Born Norrien Kathleen Nangle in 1936 in Massachusetts, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Bon Secours in 1955 and professed her final vows in 1964. She received her registered nurse’s degree from the Bon Secours School of Nursing in Baltimore in 1960 and went on for additional training to be a registered X-ray technician.
Sister Mary Rita started her nursing career in Baltimore and went on to serve in New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Marriottsville, where she was the coordinator for Marian Hall.
She returned to minister in Baltimore in 1990 as a patient advocate at Bon Secours Hospital and lived within walking distance of the West Baltimore hospital. She retired in 2011 and then volunteered as a patient visitor at the hospital until the last several weeks.
In addition to her patient care positions in the United States, Sister Mary Rita spent several years out of the country. She went to Orleans, France, in the mid-1960s to prepare to go to a mission in Lere Chad, Africa. There, she cared for children who came from miles around to receive treatment at the government hospital.
In the mid-1990s, Sister Mary Rita felt called to Riobamba, Ecuador, where she spent a little more than a year as part of the Sisters of Bon Secours mission in the Riobamba Diocese.
In a 2007 interview with the Catholic Review, Sister Mary Rita said she enjoyed attending midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore and then going to work as a patient advocate at Bon Secours Hospital on Christmas Day.
“It is my choice to come over on Christmas morning until 1 or 2 in the afternoon and give out presents to every patient,” she said. “The dollar store is my favorite place in the world.”
She recalled visiting a patient who had given up after a long hospitalization.
“Her skin was ashen,” Sister Mary Rita remembered, but the religious sister put a gift on her bed anyway. “Four months later, a lady ran up to me and said, ‘You saved my life.’ She came out of it. You never know who you’re touching and how you’re touching them.”
According to an obituary supplied by her religious community, Sister Mary Rita was active throughout her years in the congregation and its health care facilities. She was a member of the board of trustees of Bon Secours Hospital, Bon Secours Hollins, Bennet Senior Housing in Baltimore and Bon Secours Hospital in Methuen as well as served on many congregation and hospital committees.