Sister Mary Teresita Rivet, O.S.U., a former teacher and administrator at Ursuline Academy, died Thursday at Our Lady of Wisdom Healthcare Center in Algiers. She was 94.
Inez Marie Rivet was born in New Orleans, graduated from Ursuline Academy in 1936 and attended Ursuline College until she entered the Ursuline Convent at 19. She took her vows as Sister Mary Teresita of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
She was part of a long line of Rivet family members who served as Ursuline sisters, that is, members of the Order of St. Ursula.
“She had aunts and great-aunts in the Ursuline order,” Sister Carla Dolce said. “So even as a young woman, she was associated with the high school and the college.”
Sister Teresita earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University in 1945 and a master’s degree from Catholic University of America in 1957. In 1973, she completed certification as a reading specialist at Tulane University.
Among French language students at Ursuline Academy, she was affectionately known as “Soeur T.”
At the academy, she served as an elementary school teacher and later as elementary school principal. Her last positions there were as French teacher for the early childhood division and as the sacristan and wedding coordinator for the National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.
She also had served as supervisor for the Central Province Ursuline Schools and the Dallas/Fort Worth Diocese Schools; prioress of the New Orleans Ursulines Community; provincial for the Ursulines of the Western Province; a missionary in Alaska; and creator and director of the Ursuline Child Care Learning Center in Crystal City, Missouri.
“She was very bright, very talented, very professional,” Sister Dolce said. “She could do many things well. But of all of that, I think you would understand her best by saying she loved the children with her whole heart and soul. The joy of her life was to be with the young people.”
In 2007, Sister Teresita retired to the Ursuline Queen of Peace Community in Alton, Illinois. In 2010, she returned for the dedication of the Soeur Teresita Rivet, O.S.U., Early Childhood Learning Center at Ursuline Academy.
In May, she moved to Our Lady of Wisdom. In January, she celebrated 76 years with the Ursuline order.
Survivors include two sisters, Marie-Louise Rivet Morris and Janet Marie Rivet Anderson, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Saturday at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, 2701 State St., in New Orleans. Visitation will begin at 9 a.m. Ursuline students will form an honor guard lining the walkway leading to the mausoleum where she will be buried.