Obituaries, Week of September 16, 2023

Sister Patricia Marie Rutter, CSJ, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph for 45 years, died on June 22, 2023, at Maria Regina Residence, Brentwood. She was 72 years old. 

Sister Patricia grew up in Holy Name of Mary Parish, Valley Stream. After graduating from Stella Maris High School, she worked in many stores, coached CYO basketball, taught CCD classes, and attended Adelphi University to pursue a career in teaching. At that time, she also became aware of God’s calling to religious life and attended many retreat experiences to affirm that call. 

In 1978, Pat entered the Sisters of St. Joseph. In the years that followed, she finished her degree at St. Joseph College and earned an MS in social studies from C.W. Post. 

Sister Pat’s teaching career on the elementary level began in 1982 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Brooklyn) and continued at Infant Jesus (Port Washington), Ss. Cyril and Methodius (Deer Park), St. Martha (Uniondale) and St. Camillus (Rockaway Beach). In 2007, Pat returned to her beloved alma mater, Stella Maris High School, followed by years teaching religious studies and U.S. history at Bishop Kearney High School. 

Sister Pat’s life was animated by a sincere love of God and neighbor, and in 2015, this led her to accept the position of director of faith formation at St. Saviour’s. Here, she had the opportunity to spread her love of the Bible to many age groups as a co-minister of the parish, a responsibility she took very seriously. 

At every opportunity, be it in kindergarten, eighth grade, high school, or parish ministry, Sister Pat made sure that her students knew how valuable they were in the eyes of God and that learning should be fun. Her amazing energy, playful spirit, and generosity will never be forgotten by those who were privileged to have known her as a teacher and a friend. 

Father Frank Spacek, pastor of St. Saviour’s Church, was the principal celebrant of Sister Patricia’s Mass of Christian Burial on July 7, 2023, at Sacred Heart Chapel, Brentwood. Father Kevin Cavalluzzi concelebrated. Burial followed at Calvary Cemetery, Brentwood. 

Sister Teresa Ryan, CSJ, formerly Sister Teresa Edmund, a Sister of St. Joseph for 76 years, died on Aug. 22, 2023, at age 95 in St. Joseph Convent, Brentwood. 

Sister Teresa attended St. Joseph Elementary School and Bishop McDonnell High School in Brooklyn. 

Her ministry in education began in Our Lady of Victory (Floral Park), St. Vincent de Paul (Williamsburg), and St. Teresa of Avila (Crown Heights), where she taught grades 5 to 8. 

From 1975 to 1988, she was assistant principal at St. Joseph High School (Downtown Brooklyn). From 1988 to 2005, she was librarian at St. Joseph College (Clinton Hill). 

Sister Teresa’s other forte was connected with her community life at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Convent, Brooklyn, where from 1975 to 2019, her skills in household projects were outstanding. Her single-minded goals in all areas of life were gifts appreciated by students and sisters in the community alike. 

Sister Teresa’s funeral Mass was celebrated by Father Seth N. Awo Doku on Aug. 25, in Sacred Heart Chapel, Brentwood, followed by burial in Calvary Cemetery.