“Jerusalem My Destiny.”

~ Rory Cooney

Blessed and happy has been my religious life for sixty years as a Grand Rapids Dominican. I am grateful for the many opportunities given me, especially to visit the Holy Land in 1995. I give heartfelt thanks to God, my community, family and friends who have helped me on my journey.

Rena Margaret Ruddy, born October 28, 1931 in Flint, Michigan was the second of eleven children of Francis and Julia Marie Rousseau Ruddy. At age two the family moved to a farm in Mt. Morris, Michigan. Rena graduated from St. Mary School in 1949. Following graduation she worked two years at St. Francis Home for Boys in Detroit, next at the Federal Reserve Bank and then for Detroit City Ice and Fuel Co. She traveled extensively.

At the age of 23 Rena answered God’s call and joined the Grand Rapids Dominicans on January 29,1955. In 1958 Sister Rena began her teaching apostolate at Blessed Sacrament School, GR and continued as an elementary teacher at Holy Family, Saginaw and St. Michael, Maple Grove. From there she went to the Detroit Archdiocese: Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn; St. Alfred, Taylor; and St. Ann, Warren. After a long ministry in teaching, she became Christian Service Director at St. Matthias Parish, Sterling Heights.

Sister Rena holds two degrees from Aquinas College, one in education and one in Religious Studies.

Sister Rena moved to Marywood July 30, 2014. She continues her hobbies which include music, concerts, acrylic painting, and floral arrangements.