Born to Life
September 13, 1921
June 13, 1938
Born to Eternal Life
March 23, 2022
Sacred Heart Convent
Mt. Olivet Cemetery
Ruth Marie was born in Milwaukee, on September 13, 1921, to Alois and Irene Holzhauer. She was the 2nd oldest of 4 boys and 2 girls. Her parents were both German Catholics. Her father was an Electrical Engineer, and her mother took good care of the children and their home. All the children went to St. Catherine’s School in Milwaukee, staffed by the School Sisters of St. Francis. When Ruth Marie was in 6th grade, the twins, a boy and a girl were born, so she became like a second mother to them. Ruth Marie liked school and especially liked the Sisters. In 8th grade she received a scholarship to Holy Angels High School, but decided instead to enter St. Joseph Convent..
Ruth Marie was received into the Community in 1938 and received the name Sister Seraphica. After her novitiate years, she attended Alverno College and later received her Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola.
Sister Ruth Marie enjoyed teaching, no matter what age or level. For 55 years she ministered as Teacher, Principal, and Religious Education Director. Her missions were St. Philomena’s School and Alvernia High School in Chicago, She also taught at several high schools and grade schools in Wisconsin, St. Monica’s in New York, twice at Our Lady Queen of Peace and St. Monica’s, Whitefish Bay. It was evident she was a born teacher. She also taught summer school classes to the Aspirants at Madonna and for almost 20 years taught summer school classes to education students at Alverno.
Retiring from teaching in 1997, Sister Ruth Marie moved to the St. Joseph Convent Motherhouse, volunteered as a driver and worked in the Development Office. Sister Ruth Marie often reflected on how blessed she was to work and live with sisters who worked so easily together. She often wondered, “What more might God be expecting of me?”
In 2007 it was time for Sister Ruth Marie to move to another phase of retirement and she moved to Sacred Heart Convent. Here too she always seemed to accept whatever God had planned for her. She graciously accepted her declining health. Sister Ruth Marie kept herself busy, praying, reading, and sharing with others. As she prayed her Rosary each day, she personalized each of the rosary beads. Each bead was prayed for someone or some special group - that made 59 persons who were prayed for each day, whether it was for a paramedic or the president of the United States
In 2018 Sister joyfully celebrated her 80th Jubilee as a School Sister of St. Francis. She was grateful for these years of Community living and serving God faithfully. Later, in 2021 there was more for which she could thank God as she celebrated her 100th birthday!
Sister Ruth Marie was always filled with gratitude and constantly asked God for blessings on our Community, on her family, and friends. She was always sharing. Her treat box was always filled with Hershey chocolate kisses!
What a home coming for you, Sister Ruth Marie, as you encounter your Master Teacher who was your constant companion on your journey of life. May you now rest in peace.