Sister profile

Sister John Mary Rifner

Sister John Mary was born on April 1, 1929 and died on March 21, 2019.

Rifner_John Mary

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Sister John Mary Rifner was born Cecilia Ann Rifner in New Castle, Indiana, on April 1, 1929. She passed away on March 21, 2019, at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. She was 89 years old and had been a Sister of Providence for 66 years.

Sister John Mary entered the Congregation in February of 1953, professing first vows in 1955 and final vows in 1960.

She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a bachelor’s degree in education and earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Indiana State University.

Sister John Mary taught for 30 years in schools in Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland.

In Indiana, she taught at St. Susanna in Plainfield from 1969-81, in addition to St. Simon in Indianapolis from 1981-85.

She also taught at St. Athanasius in Evanston, Illinois, from 1956-59, and at Maternity BVM in Chicago from 1959-62.

During her time ministering at St. Athanasius in Evanston, the convent she stayed in was less than one block away from Northwestern University’s football stadium. She and other sisters would walk over to the stadium to watch the team practice.


Read her obituary here.

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