Sister Dolores Rachel Dietz, age 85, died June 7, 2021, at St. Scholastica Monastery, Fort Smith, Arkansas. The family of Gustave and Helena (Jansen) Dietz welcomed their daughter, Dolores Pauline, into their family on September 26, 1935 in Happy, Texas. Upon being received at St. Scholastica Convent on June 24, 1953 she took the name Sister Rachel. Later she legally changed her name to Dolores Rachel. Sister Rachel was a member of the monastic community for sixty-six years.
In Arkansas she taught at St. Anthony’s School in Ratcliff and St. John’s School in Brinkley, and in Missouri at St. Michael’s School (later changed to St. Gabriel’s School) in Kansas City. She worked in religious education in McGehee, Arkansas, Fort Smith, and Springfield, Missouri. After receiving a Masters in Social Work from St. Louis University, she served as a clinical social worker and therapist in St. Louis and at St. Pius X Parish in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
From 2001 to 2011 she served as subprioress in the community. She continued her work as a counselor and spiritual director. In 2008, she began participating in an Ignatian spiritual director formation program through the Sisters in Piedmont, Oklahoma, and then initiated the program in Fort Smith. She continued organizing and teaching in the program until the month before she died. Through this program, many participants deepened their spiritual life, and many were trained to be spiritual directors.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Theology at Mundelein College in Chicago, Illinois and her Master’s degree in the Psychology of Religion from the University of O’Hara in Ontario, Canada. Sister enjoyed reading, cooking, hiking, movies, singing, playing dominoes and cards, and attending plays and musicals. She was gifted in growing orchids. Sister Rachel was dedicated to those in AA programs and sought to serve the underprivileged. She was close to her family and loved to share stories of her many experiences.
She was preceded in death by her parents; six brothers, Phillip, John, Sylvester, Alfred, Richard, and James; and her two sisters, Rita Fogarty and Louise Chisum. She is survived by her many beloved nieces and nephews, loving friends, and members of her Benedictine family.
Due to Covid-19, Mass for Christian Burial for Sister Rachel will be held at a later date. Arrangements and cremation are under the direction of Edwards Funeral Home in Fort Smith. In lieu of flowers, please make memorials to St. Scholastica Monastery Continuing Care Fund, 1315 S. Albert Pike Ave., Fort Smith, AR 72903.Donate In Sr. Dolores Rachel Dietz’s Memory
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