Sister Mary Ruth Wand of the School Sisters of Notre Dame will bring decades of experience to the next phase of her ministry in the Jefferson City diocese.
Having served for 22 years as a pastoral minister for Annunciation parish in California, she will join the ministry team of St. Vincent de Paul parish in Sedalia on July 1.
She will coordinate and serve among the parish volunteers who visit the hospitalized, homebound and those living in nursing homes.
“We are very happy that she’ll be here to minister with us at St. Vincent de Paul,” said Father Joseph Corel, pastor in solidum of the Sedalia parish.
Sr. Mary Ruth grew up on a farm near Quincy, Illinois, and has spent most of her 55 years of professed religious life in central and northeastern Missouri.
She has served as a teacher at St. Peter Interparish School in Jefferson City and at St. George School in Linn, and as a teaching principal at Immaculate Conception School in Loose Creek, Holy Family School in Hannibal, Fr. McCartan Memorial School in Marceline and St. Joseph School in Martinsburg.
She has also served in St. Louis and in Iowa and Nebraska.
She joined the California parish in 1999.
There, she taught children in the Parish School of Religion, visited people who are homebound or in the hospital, and comforted families in times of sickness and death.
She led a Scripture-based faith-sharing group and worked with the parishioners who produce the six-minute weekly mediations for the “Mustard Seed” Sunday-morning radio program.
She told The Catholic Missourian in 2017 that churches need to be “places where people can come for refuge and guidance, where we can give them hope and help them keep plugging on.”
“We need to be on our knees, asking God how we can help,” she said. “Sometimes, I’m there just to listen. Other times, He gives me the words I need. I always pray that I will be His instrument — that God will help me say whatever He needs them to hear.”
Sr. Mary Ruth said she’ll miss the people of Annunciation but is excited to continue ministering in the Jefferson City diocese.
She plans on staying in touch.
Father Alexander Gabriel, pastor of Annunciation parish and of St. Andrew parish in Tipton, wished her well.
“We are very grateful for all that Sr. Mary Ruth has done for the people of our parish and this community,” he said.
Annunciation parish plans to hold a send-off reception for her on a parishioner’s farm the afternoon of Sunday, June 21.
There will be plenty of room to maintain proper social distance, the organizers stated.