Sister Ruth Hoering


Sister Ruth Hoerig


Born to Life
February 13, 1934
Hartford, Wisconsin

June 13, 1952

Born to Eternal Life
March 22, 2024
Sacred Heart
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mt. Olivet Cemetery
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


When our dear Sister Ruth told us that she would retire on her 90th birthday, February 13th, many of us thought that she was referring to her volunteer work in the Communications and Finance offices. Now we see that Ruth retired from this earth and went home to God.

Pauline and Raymond Hoerig welcomed their daughter Ruth into the Hoerig family in Hartford, Wisconsin, on February 13, 1934. Ruth loved three brothers—Roy, Ervin, and Harvey – and her sister, Laverne, all of whom have preceded her into new life.

In her vocation story, Ruth told us that, as a child, the Corpus Christi processions and 40 hours devotion made a lasting impression on her. Ruth said she was captivated by the life of St. Bernadette Soubirous, who never faltered in her conviction of Our Lady’s apparitions. Such strength of character heightened Ruth’s own resolve to pursue religious life.

As a 15-year-old aspirant, she had her one and only heart-to-heart talk with her father, a retired farmer in Menomonee Falls. He tried to dissuade her from making this commitment so early in life. “If I don’t do this now, I know I’ll never go through it,” she told him. Ruth was received into the School Sisters of St. Francis on June 13, 1952, and was faithful to her commitment throughout her life.

Sister Ruth was a dedicated and creative educator, serving in the field of education for 37 years as a teacher, principal, archdiocesan director, college professor, and guidance director. And she generously shared her expertise with many groups as a consultant and board member.

Sister Ruth lived the mission of the School Sisters of St. Francis “to witness to the Good News of Jesus and the presence of the reign of God as we enter into the lives and needs of people, especially those who are poor.”  Especially those who are poor. As principal of Walker’s Point Community School in Milwaukee, Sister Ruth adopted an innovative program designed to help meet the needs of inner-city students by giving them a solid foundation for academic achievement and involving their parents in their education. Because of the success of this program, she was invited to become the director of a newly established archdiocesan program to prepare supportive teacher-consultants to meet the special needs of children who were struggling academically and emotionally.

Later in life, Sister Ruth took on a research and writing project for the Conrad Hilton Fund for Sisters, authoring Seeds of Hope: Catholic Sisters in Action Around the World. In this book Ruth described 28 creative projects that reflect the commitment of sisters to plant seeds of hope in the most remote areas of the world, where there is little infrastructure for meeting basic needs of families and communities.

Sister Ruth supported the mission of our congregation for 22 years through research, writing, grant writing, and other service in the School Sisters of St. Francis Mission Advancement, Finance, Communications, and U.S. Province Offices. She enjoyed finding inspirational quotations to share on Facebook and writing articles about sisters in ministry for Alive magazine.

Sister Ruth said, “Writing these articles has given me a new lease on life because it allows me the rare opportunity to connect with our sisters in India, Latin America and Europe, and learn firsthand their unique approach to living our Franciscan charism.”

The spirit of poverty, central to Franciscan spirituality, has always been important to Sister Ruth. And during her retirement, she developed an appreciation of Ignatian spirituality and its embrace of discernment of the will of God and surrender to God’s movement in one’s life.

Throughout her life, our sister Ruth internalized these values and lived our congregational charism, to “discern the will of God in the needs of the times, responding wherever the Spirit leads us.”

We are grateful for your life among us, Ruth, and your faith commitment to God and the people of God. You are home now.

Join Us in Remembering
Sister Ruth

We encourage you to share your loving memories of Sister’s life and ministry using the online form on this page. Your submission will be reviewed by the community and posted to this page promptly.


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Memories from Loved Ones, Friends & Colleagues

memory collage

~ Steven J. Pawlak