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SisterMaurita Reynolds

Life Story & Obituary

February 13, 1926 – November 5, 2023

“I appreciate the Dominican life and am grateful to all of the Sisters in our community for their help spiritually and in so many other ways.”

The oldest of three daughters of Charles and Helen Tennis Reynolds, Helen Georgia Reynolds was born February 13, 1926, in Grand Rapids. Known by her middle name, Georgia, attended St. Francis Xavier School from the first grade through the tenth. There she was taught by the Sisters of Mercy whom she came to admire. Later she met the Dominican Sisters at Grand Rapids Catholic Central where she completed her high school education, graduating in 1943.

Georgia’s family availed themselves of the opportunity to travel, and she went on numerous trips during her childhood, including trips to Detroit, Chicago, and Milwaukee where she visited museums, zoos, and historical sites. One highlight was visiting the 1932 World’s Fair in Chicago. Another memorable childhood experience was a chance to ride in the largest airplane of its type, the Chamberlain, in 1937.

Although Georgia admired both the Sisters of Mercy and the Dominicans, she chose to join the latter. On February 2, 1944, she entered the Dominican Sisters at Marywood. At the time of her reception of the habit she received the name Sister Maurita of Our Lady of Grace.

After making profession, Sister Maurita began a career of both teaching and clerical work. She taught grades three through twelve and came to prefer teaching the older children, especially those of high school age.

Sister Maurita earned a BA from Aquinas College with a major in History and minors in English and Social Science. Later, she received an MA in Elementary Education Administration from Central Michigan University. To sharpen her secretarial skills, Sister Maurita earned Continuing Education Units from Davenport College.

Her teaching ministry began in Merrill, Michigan where she taught grades three and four at Sacred Heart School. Later, she taught in the elementary grades at St. Joseph, Muskegon, St. Alphonsus and St. Thomas, Grand Rapids.

Following these years of teaching, Sister Maurita assisted in secretarial tasks in the central office at Marywood. After four years in this role, Sister returned to teaching, this time at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Grand Rapids.

Moving into the older elementary grades, Sister taught junior high students at St. Mary, Gaylord; Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn Heights; St. Mary, Lake Leelanau; St. Mary Magdalen, Melvindale; and St. Alphonsus, Grand Rapids. Sister Maurita taught for five years at Catholic Central, Grand Rapids and then became the principal and eighth grade teacher at Our Lady of Belen School, Belen, New Mexico.

One of her former students, now an adult, wrote to say how much her teaching had impacted him in later life. “A seed was planted that hung with me for many years. . . thank you for being a very important part of my spiritual fiber,” he wrote.

For the next years, Sister Maurita served as secretary, administrative assistant, outreach minister and religious educator in Muskegon, Mt. Pleasant, Grand Rapids and Marne. Later, she was a driver for Sisters in need of transportation.

In April 2015, Sister Maurita moved to Aquinata Hall where she continued to serve as receptionist who welcomed visitors to the residence.

Sister Maurita enjoyed music and needlework. She relished reading and loved to go for quiet walks. She truly loved the celebration of Mass, community prayer, meditation, and the rosary.

Reflecting on her life as a Dominican Sister, she wrote: “I appreciate the Dominican life and am grateful to all of the Sisters in our community for their help spiritually and in so many other ways.”

Sr. Maurita is survived by her nieces, nephews, many friends, and members of her Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids Community.

Following these years of teaching, Sister Maurita assisted in secretarial tasks in the central office at Marywood. After four years in this role, Sister returned to teaching, this time at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Grand Rapids.

Moving into the older elementary grades, Sister taught junior high students at St. Mary, Gaylord; Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn Heights; St. Mary, Lake Leelanau; St. Mary Magdalen, Melvindale; and St. Alphonsus, Grand Rapids. Sister Maurita taught for five years at Catholic Central, Grand Rapids and then became the principal and eighth grade teacher at Our Lady of Belen School, Belen, New Mexico.

One of her former students, now an adult, wrote to say how much her teaching had impacted him in later life. “A seed was planted that hung with me for many years. . . thank you for being a very important part of my spiritual fiber,” he wrote.

For the next years, Sister Maurita served as secretary, administrative assistant, outreach minister and religious educator in Muskegon, Mt. Pleasant, Grand Rapids and Marne. Later, she was a driver for Sisters in need of transportation.

In April 2015, Sister Maurita moved to Aquinata Hall where she continued to serve as receptionist who welcomed visitors to the residence.

Sister Maurita enjoyed music and needlework. She relished reading and loved to go for quiet walks. She truly loved the celebration of Mass, community prayer, meditation, and the rosary.

Reflecting on her life as a Dominican Sister, she wrote: “I appreciate the Dominican life and am grateful to all of the Sisters in our community for their help spiritually and in so many other ways.”


Sr. Maurita is survived by her nieces, nephews, many friends, and members of her Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids Community.

Deceased

Entered eternal life on November 5, 2023 at the age of 97 after 79 years of religious life.

We commend Sister Maurita to your prayers.

Prayer Ministry

Pray for students preparing for Confirmation

After making profession, Sister Maurita began a career of both teaching and clerical work.

Sisters Joan Williams and Maurita Reynolds share smiles as they celebrate Sister Maurita’s 75th Jubilee.

Sisters Maurita Reynolds, Joyce Williams, and Teresa Houlihan celebrate together on the Feast of St. Patrick.

In ministry with †Sister Maurita Reynolds, OP

Funeral Services for Sister Maurita Reynolds OP

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2014 Jubilarians

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Dominican Sisters Grand Rapids 2019 Jubilarians

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