Sister Rebecca La Point died suddenly at home on March 15, 2023 with her dear friend and housemate, Sister Sandy Rutkowski, at her side. The daughter of Rudolph and Mildred La Point entered the convent from St. Clement Parish in Toledo, Ohio in 1947 to become a Sister of St. Francis in Sylvania, Ohio. She made her first profession of religious vows in 1950 and her final profession in 1953.
In the reflection that Sister Rebecca wrote in 2010 celebrating her 60th Jubilee in religious life she began with the words, God is a God of surprises! How could a young girl from a large family in Trilby, Ohio…ever dream of living such an exciting and adventurous life? In my 60 years as a vowed Religious Sister I have traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. In my travels and ministry, I have met many famous persons including Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The thousands of less famous persons I met in these years are equally unforgettable.
Now, after almost 73 years in Religious Life, Sister Rebecca and her early mottos in life, Spend yourself for the Lord and Be open to new adventures, are good reminders of the tremendous energy, enthusiasm and dedication that she brought to everything she did in life and ministry. She gave herself wholeheartedly to the ministry of education as a teacher in schools in Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio; a principal in schools in Minnesota and Ohio (including Little Flower in Toledo); and Assistant Professor in the Education Department of Lourdes University. She spent 9 years as the First Coordinator of Field Experiences and 12 years as Teacher Licensure Officer at Lourdes, retiring in 2020. She never really retired from supporting and encouraging the students and kept in touch with many of them through her correspondence. Together with Sister Sandra, she was a constant presence at Lourdes athletic events and made sure we knew about every award or accomplishment made by the various teams.
Over the years, Sister Rebecca also served as Associate Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Toledo from 1985 to 1990 and was the Director of the Ministry Office for the Sisters of St. Francis from 1990-1999. Over her many years in religious life, she managed to travel and make friends with people literally all over the world. She and a few of her Sister-friends managed to see most of the U.S. by making many enjoyable camping trips to the 50 states during the summer breaks from teaching. One of the highlights in her life was the year she spent in Rome, Italy studying theology and Scripture with other Religious Sisters and professors from all over the world. They spent 15 days in the Holy Land praying at all the places sacred to Jesus. Another highlight was the Assisi Pilgrimage where they walked in the footsteps of St. Francis and St. Clare in Assisi, Italy. In the words of Sister Rebecca, God surprised me then and continues to surprise me today. May she enjoy eternal peace in the presence of God in communion with Mary, Mother of the Redeemer who she loved so much.
Coming from a large family of 13 children, Sister Rebecca is survived by her brothers Karl (Cathy) La Point, Bernie (Donna) La Point, and sisters Rosemary Wolf, Nita (Gerry) Randolph, and Noreen (Jim) Greathouse as well as many nieces and nephews.
Visitation for Sister Rebecca La Point will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel where the funeral Mass will follow at 4:00 p.m. Live streaming of the Funeral Liturgy can be found at https://video.ibm.com/channel/RvdadQRjbGk
Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania, Ohio. Arrangements made by Thomas I. Wisniewski Funeral Home, Toledo, Ohio.
(Written by Sister Mary Thill)