Franciscan Sister Mary Rosaria (Rita) Hagel, 97, died Feb. 24 at St. Francis Convent, Little Falls. A private burial will be held Feb. 26. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date.
Rita Armella Hagel was born Oct. 12, 1923, in Rogers, Minnesota, the fifth of 11 children of John and Catherine (Dahlheimer) Hagel. Rita attended a one-room school, District 73, in Hennepin County. She first attended Elk River High School and later St. Francis High School in Little Falls. She graduated from there in 1945 and made the decision to become a Franciscan Sister.
Upon entering the novitiate she received the name Sister Mary Rosaria. She was a Franciscan Sister for 75 years.
Her many ministries have included being a cottage mother at the St. Cloud Children’s Home, a baker and a housekeeper. For nearly all of her religious life she did domestic work or held hospitality responsibilities.
Sister Rosaria was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Lawrence, Wilmer, Alvin and Harvey; and sister Cecilia Gulczinski. Survivors include siblings: Rosanna Toth, Bel Air, Maryland; Ivan (Mary) Minneapolis; Henry, Minneapolis; Hillard, Brooklyn Center; and Howard (Diane), Buffalo; sister-in-law Louise, Mount Airy, Maryland; nieces and nephews and her Franciscan Community.
Donations to Franciscan Sisters ministries preferred.