Funeral Mass celebrated for Sr. Marian Ruede

Sister of Charity was longtime pastoral associate in Diocese of Knoxville

By Dan McWilliams

Sister Marian Ruede, SC, formerly a longtime pastoral associate at St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish in Cleveland, passed away Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, at the age of 88 in the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse at Mother Margaret Hall in Cincinnati.

Sister Marian was born Nov. 27, 1929, in Jackson, Mich. She graduated from St. Mary High School in 1947.

She was attracted to the Sisters of Charity because of their friendliness, kindness, and dedication. She entered the congregation in September 1947. She was a Sister of Charity for 71 years. Sister Marian earned her bachelor of science degree in education from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1958, and she received a master’s degree in administration from the University of Dayton in Ohio in 1970. She earned a master of arts degree in theology from the University of Dayton in 1979.

Sister Marian’s ministries included 27 years as an educator and 25 years as a pastoral minister. She began as a teacher at St. Leo High School in Detroit in 1949. In 1951, she went to St. James School in Bay City, Mich. (1951-56 and 1966-67); next it was St. Saviour School in Rossmoyne, Ohio (1956-58); Holy Name School in Cleveland, Ohio (1958-62); Holy Family School in Cincinnati (1962-63); St. Mary School in Jackson, Mich. (1963-66); and St. Helen School in Saginaw, Mich. (1967-76) as principal.

She began ministering at Cumberland Catholic Church in Burkesville, Ky. (1976-79); upon completion of her degree, she served in a similar position at St. Elizabeth in Ravenna, Ky. (1979-82); St. Michael in Cincinnati (1982-83); and St. Thérèse of Lisieux in Cleveland, Tenn. (1984-2001). At that time, she retired to the motherhouse.

Sister Marian celebrated 50 years in religious life on Sept. 7, 1997, with an anniversary Mass at St. Thérèse of Lisieux. More than 600 friends and family filled the church to watch her renew her religious vows. At the time, she was active in the parish RCIA program and in a new Landings program to reach out to inactive Catholics along with her ministry to everyone from youths to the elderly and from the sick to the homebound. She also participated in the local Habitat for Humanity and the ministerial association.

For several years, she served as a volunteer chaplain at a hospice. Every week she would take Holy Communion to shut-ins.

“She would go all over Cleveland and to the outlying areas,” said parishioner Lorraine Sughrue in a 2001 interview upon Sister Marian’s retirement. “She would go to the people who couldn’t get to the church.”

The Sister of Charity also empowered other parishioners to join her in taking the Eucharist to the outlying areas of Cleveland, Mrs. Sughrue said.

“She always made you feel good about doing this,” she said. “If you asked how to approach someone, she would say just to be very natural, to pray with them, and visit them.”

Helping people come into the Church through RCIA was a joyful event for Sister Marian, those in the RCIA group, and the entire parish, said St. Thérèse music director Jane Hubbard in 2001.

“It was so neat to see the way she could bring people together at the Easter vigil, which was always such a wonderful, joy-filled night,” Ms. Hubbard said. “She is really responsible for a large number of people who have come into the Church or come back to the Church or those who come wanting to learn more about their faith.”

Sister Marian’s 50th-anniversary gifts included a camera and a ladies golf bag with irons and woods, 100 golf tees, and 36 golf balls. She also received a framed portrait of Sister Elizabeth Ann Seton and a certificate for a trip worth $4,200.

“My heart overflows with gratitude,” she said at the time. “I’m grateful for all of you.”

At her retirement reception April 22, 2001, Bishop Joseph E. Kurtz said: “You have been a picture of mercy to all of the people whose lives you have touched.”

Near the end of the reception, Sister Marian said that “It has been a great privilege and joy to be here these 17 years to get to know all of you. I really want to thank all of the people who have helped me along the way. I haven’t done all of this by myself, and especially thanks to the RCIA catechists and team members, and the people who helped me visit the sick and those who are shut-ins, and those who brought them holy Communion. I appreciate all those people.

“I will never forget your kindness and generosity. You’ve been a blessing to me, and you have shown me a lot of things. If you think I have done something for you, you have done more for me.”

Sister Marian is survived by her brother, Richard; sister-in-law Yvonne; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Benjamin and Emma (Zantop) Ruede; brothers and sisters, Genevieve (Don) Schenck, Robert (Catherine), Bernadine, Lawrence (Anita), Sister Florence Ruede, Joseph (Patricia), Eileen (Ken) Sauter, Willard, Margaret (Bernard) Simons, and Frances (Paul) Hogle; and sister-in-law Joan.

Sister Marian’s life was celebrated at the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse on Monday, Oct. 22. She was buried in the Sisters of Charity Cemetery next to her sister, Sister Florence.

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