The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Sister Petra worked in schools, hospitals for 76 years

Published: October 4, 2018   

Sister M. Petra Riga, OSB, who spent 76 years in religious life, died Sept. 16. She was 91.

Florence Mary Riga was born in 1942 to Frank and Katherine Riga in Shoal Creek. She made her first vows in 1944 and served in the convent’s kitchen as a cook, at St. John Seminary in Little Rock and St. John Hospice in Hot Springs, according to her funeral home obituary. After professing her final vows on Aug. 15, 1948, she taught for years in Arkansas elementary schools. At St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro, Sister Petra supervised housekeeping, laundry and property control departments for 24 years. She was an administrator of Benedictine Manor in Hot Springs. When she returned to the motherhouse, she supervised the infirmary and later pastoral care at St. Bernards. For a year, she served as a missionary in Mexico City.

Sister Petra is survived by three brothers, Guy Riga, Leo Riga and Steve Riga; and two sisters, Joan O’Connell, and Martie Uebelhor.

A visitation and rosary was held at Holy Angels Convent Sept. 18 and a Mass of Christian Burial Sept. 19, with internment at Mount Olivet Cemetery.

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