Rita Russo was born on May 20, 1940. After graduating from Notre Dame High School, San Jose, she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1959, taking the name Sr. Mary Rita.
Rita taught elementary school for several years, then opened a Food Bank in East Los Angeles, before returning to the San Jose area where other SNDdeNs were also working in a variety of ways. The Cursillo Movement there became an important community for Rita, and she maintained her long connections with Notre Dame by becoming an Associate.
She survived more than one serious back surgery before being diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. She died in December, 2020.
Rita was very brave and very kind.