CLINTON — Sister Rosalie Noder, a former educator, parish minister and outreach minister, died at MercyOne Medical Center on Oct. 17. She was two days shy of her 91st birthday.
Her baptismal name was Phyllis Barbara. Born in McNabb, Illinois, the oldest child of Michael Joseph and Charlotte Grasser Noder, she attended public grade schools in McNabb and St. Mary Grade School in Henry, Illinois, and graduated from Mount St. Clare Academy in Clinton.
She entered the congregation of the Sisters of St. Francis at Mount St. Clare Convent on Sept. 8, 1948, and received the name Mary Rosalie at her reception on June 20, 1949. She made her first profession on Aug. 13, 1951, and her final vows on Aug. 13, 1954.
Sister Noder earned an AA degree from Mount St. Clare College, a BS in education from Creighton University in Omaha and an MM in ministry from Seattle University in Seattle. She received certification as a liturgical minister through the Liturgical Institute in the Archdiocese of Chicago and San Anselmo, Rome.
She served in education in the Iowa communities of Lourdes, Fonda and Danbury and in California and Illinois. During the 1960s, she felt called to become involved in the faith life of adults. For 14 years, beginning in 1969, she served in parish ministry in Chicago where she began a food pantry, clothing center, senior citizens’ club and the first RCIA classes. Her efforts led to development of a religious education program that included a cluster of six other parishes. She also served in other parishes in Illinois.
A pilgrimage to Assisi and ministry in rural Illinois led Sister Noder to serve persons suffering from AIDS. In 1991, she became co-founder and first executive director of AIDS Ministry of Illinois in Joliet. She also served in positions such as outreach services coordinator, educator and case manager.
Sister Noder retired from AIDS ministry in December 2002 and volunteered at Catholic Charities of Joliet, Illinois, in the foster grandparents program until 2006. She then moved to The Canticle in Clinton, volunteered as a reading tutor at Jefferson School in Clinton and was involved in the Clinton Ministerial Association. Even as her eyesight failed, her spirit of joy and compassion endured. She moved to The Alverno in July 2019.
Her body was donated to the University of Iowa. Burial will be at a later date.