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After living a full life as a Franciscan Sister of the Poor for 79 years, Sr. Rosalita Losonsky heard the Lord call her name, inviting her to join her heavenly Father for all eternity on July 15, 2011. Sr. Paula Huecker and Sisters from St. Clare Convent prayed with Sr. Rosalita in her room in Mercy Franciscan Terrace for several days prior to her death and kept a twenty-four hour vigil with her from Wednesday evening until her soul was claimed by her Creator about 8 PM, Friday evening. Named Teresa Barbara at her birth on May 7, 1914 in Bronx New York, Teresa was the eldest daughter of Ludmilla Varbel and John Losonsky. When they married, John brought with him his son, Joseph whose mother had died. The loving couple then had four children, John, Rose, Agnes, and Teresa. Tragedy struck the family when Teresa was just four years old. In 1918 there was an epidemic of influenza that claimed the lives of Teresa’s parents as well as her brother John and sister Agnes. Two years later, Joseph died as the result of a serious accident.

Too young to care for themselves, Teresa and Rose were taken by their guardian to St. Joseph Hospital in the Bronx to be raised by the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis as private boarders. They attended St. Pius School where the girls were taught by Dominican Sisters. According to Sr. Rosalita, she had been considering becoming a Dominican when one of the Franciscan Sisters gave her a copy of a book about Mother Frances. After reading the book, “the Lord changed my mind,” she said. “On my sixteenth birthday, I felt His presence very vividly and fell in love.”

A few months before her eighteenth birthday, Teresa left New York for Cincinnati and entered religious life with the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor at St. Clare Convent on March 15, 1932. When she received the habit, Teresa was given the name Sr. Rosalita. She made her first profession of vows on November 4, 1934. During the time of initial formation, Sr. Rosalita attended high school classes and received her diploma from Our Lady of the Angels in 1936. Sister made her perpetual profession of vows on November 4, 1939.

Sr. Rosalita attended St. Mary School of Nursing in Quincy, IL, to prepare for service in the Congregation’s health care ministry. While in Quincy, Sister attended Quincy College taking courses that would transfer to the University of Dayton and a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in 1953.

Sr. Rosalita was an avid student and her interests were varied. She was particularly determined to be able to communicate in languages used by other members of the Congregation – German, Portuguese, and Italian. As the population of Spanish-speaking people increased in the United States, she took a course in Spanish. As Sr. Rosalita reached the common age for retirement, she took a course on writing your memoirs and two courses in computer awareness.

When asked to share about her favorite ministry, she replied that she found caring for the physical and spiritual needs of her patients most rewarding. One would have to say that she had a passion for evangelizing others. She truly believed that everyone was called by God into an intimate relationship.

When Sr. Rosalita was 53 years old, she volunteered to go to Brazil to help with the ministry there. At first she was told that she was too old to serve effectively in a foreign culture. With determination, Sister presented an argument about others who had been effective ministers in their “elder” years. So off she went to Brazil to serve in a maternity clinic. She spent ten years in Brazil before returning to the USA and continuing in active ministry until she formally retired in 1997. Because Sr. Rosalita and her sister Rose were the only members of their family to survive to adulthood, they were very close even though they lived worlds apart. Sr. Rosalita always looked forward to their infrequent visits especially when she could go to Switzerland to visit Rose and her husband Anton Muff and their three children, Peter, Mary and Michael. It was a special treat when Rose came to the United States.

Sr. Rosalita was small in stature but large in personality. She was fun to be around and a good storyteller. She enjoyed spending time with the other Sisters and was present at Community meetings when her health permitted. She also possessed a wonderful sense of humor. On a form she completed a number of years ago, she gave a priceless answer. The instruction was: Please check (√) the box if you do not wish your obituary circulated: To which she responded: “I’ll know better after I see the obituary.” Well, dear Sister, what do you think, can we circulate your obituary?

Sr. Rosalita, we miss you already, your joyful presence, your perceptive questions and inquisitive mind. We know you are presenting God with all your unanswered questions. Thank you for the 79 years you committed to serving God as a Franciscan Sister of the Poor and the many people God placed on your path. May your blessings in heaven be great.

Sr. Arleen Bourquin, SFP