Austin nun reaches 60 years of service

Sister Ruth Snyder, Hispanic minister at Queen of Angels Parish in Austin and a member of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Rochester, will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee Thursday. The private celebration among Snyder and the other sisters will mark her 60 years of service as a nun.

“It’s quite an accomplishment,” said Kathryn Gatliff, director of communications at Sisters of Saint Francis. “She’s so vital and active in the community.”

Snyder is currently serving in Hispanic ministry for Queen of Angels. Gatliff said Snyer is one of several nuns who have reached the 60-year mark.

“There are seven in that category,” she said. Typically, 25- and 50-year marks are also recognized.

The sisters will share a celebratory dinner and give Snyder a prayer shawl to mark the occasion.

Snyder entered the Rochester Franciscan Congregation from St. Finbarr’s in Grand Meadow. According to a news release, she was given the name Sister Ricella when she pronounced her vows in 1952.

Snyder received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from the College of Saint Teresa in Winona and her doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Notre Dame. She spent 20 years teaching in elementary, high schools, and universities. She also spent 12 years in pastoral work and 21 years as a missionary in Peru.

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