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rsmithSister Rita Smith, CSJ (formerly Sister Loretto Marie) died peacefully at Sisters of St. Joseph Residence, 2 O’Connor Drive, Toronto, Ontario on January 4, 2022, in the 70th year of her religious life.

Sister Rita is predeceased by her parents, Russell Smith and Loretto (nee Woods) Smith and her brother Paul and sister Helen Burkholder (Murray).

She will be sadly missed by her Sisters in the Congregation, her loving family Neil (Jan), Sister Mary Doreen, csj, Rose Ann Mullally (Desmond), Jeanette Brimmer (Dr. James) as well as her sister-in-law Janet Smith, and her many nieces and nephews.

Following her education, Sister Rita entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph of Toronto in 1952. Here she pursued the teaching profession and taught in Oshawa, Thorold, St. Catharines and Colgan, Ontario as well as in Vancouver and Kitimat, British Columbia. Sister Rita had a special gift for teaching in the primary grades. In retirement, Sister Rita continued to teach students who were in need of some tutoring.

Sister Rita was well-known and loved by the staff and students at St. Joseph’s College School where the teachers, in particular, had a special fondness for Rita, not only for the ministry she provided to them by photocopying their work, but more importantly for the kindly way that she accepted their requests. She was known to run a tight ship with deadlines, but this too was a service to them in getting their work done in a timely manner and was much appreciated.

She was a down to earth, homey person who loved being with people and telling stories. Her talents in knitting and crocheting were generously shared. She supplied hats, scarves and mitts for parish bazaars, and baby hats for premature infants in hospital ICU nurseries.

In 2015, Sister Rita moved to the St. Joseph Residence, 2 O’Connor Drive, where she continued her ministry of prayer. During her time at the Residence, she received excellent and loving care from the staff and her Sisters in community.

A Private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Anselm’s Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Fontbonne Ministries.


Out of deep respect for those who have cared for these lands since time immemorial, we are committed to tread lightly on the land, protect water as sacred, and affirm our desire for right relations with all Indigenous Peoples. - From our CSJ Land Acknowledgement

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