Teresa (Rita Mary) Rennell
Sister Teresa was born June 21, 1926, to Ambrose and May (Sullivan) Rennell of Detroit and was baptized Teresa May at St. Anthony, Detroit. The family of four daughters and three sons attended the T. Dale Cook Elementary School, Detroit. Teresa graduated from St. Mary of Redford High School, Detroit, and began studies at Marygrove College in September 1944. In 1945, she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe and received the religious name, Sister Rita Mary.
Sister Teresa completed her bachelor’s degree and began a teaching ministry of 32 years, in Michigan at St. John and St. Mary Academy, Monroe; St. Mary, Marshall; Holy Name, Birmingham; St. Regis, Bloomfield Hills; St. Timothy and St. Joseph, Trenton; and Gesu and Epiphany, Detroit. By 1968, she earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of Detroit and moved into teaching at the secondary level at Immaculate Heart of Mary High School, Westchester, Ill.; Wyandotte Catholic Consolidated School, Wyandotte, Mich.; and St. Joseph School, East Tawas, Mich.
After teaching, Sister Teresa enjoyed various ministries: coordinating religious education at St. John, Fenton, Mich., and Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish, Birmingham, Mich.; and co-leading the Neumann Community at Eastern Illinois University. Her ministries took her to live in many Michigan communities. While a resident of Taylor, Sister Teresa offered her educational expertise as a tutor at Marygrove College.
Sister Teresa lived in Chelsea for 10 years, actively engaging in prayer ministry. During this time, she wrote “What the World Needs Now – Insights and Observations of 18 Local Elders.” In 1997, she returned to Monroe and became a resident of the IHM Motherhouse.
Sister Teresa is survived by her sister, Rita (Marie Ambrose), IHM; brothers, Robert and John; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by sisters, Betty Marie Peters and Dorothy Ann McDonald; and brother, James Rennell, MD.
Read her Remembering here.