Sister Mary Sylvia Rice, RSM


CUMBERLAND— Mercy Sister Mary Sylvia Rice, 88, a former teacher and principal, died on Dec. 15 at Mount St. Rita Health Centre.

Born in Woonsocket, a daughter of the late John J. and Ella (Burns) Rice. She entered the Sisters of Mercy on February 2, 1943, and professed her perpetual vows on August 16, 1948.

Sister Sylvia earned a B.S. in Education from the former Catholic Teachers College, Providence, a B.A. from Salve Regina College (University), and an M.A. in religious education from Providence College. She pursued post graduate studies at the Hampton Institute, St. Michael College, and Rhode Island College.

In 1945, Sister Rice began her education ministry at the former St. Mary School, Pawtucket and then was transferred to St. Mary Academy-Bay View where she taught until 1955. From 1955 to 1957, Sister Rice served on the faculty of the former St. Xavier Academy. She returned to Bay View where she taught from 1957 to 1969. From 1969 to 1975, Sister Sylvia was principal of the former Mount St. Mary Academy, Fall River, Mass. In 1975 she returned to Bay View where she taught for the next 22 years. St. Mary Academy-Bay View annually presents the outstanding history student with an award named in her honor.

After devoting 47 years to teaching, Sister Rice volunteered at the Family Outreach Center in Providence. She also served on the Board of the Family Outreach Center and was awarded their Partner in Philanthropy Award in recognition of her many years as a volunteer. She was also on the Board of Directors of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Rhode Island.

In addition to her religious community, the Sisters of Mercy, she leaves one nephew and three nieces. She was the sister of the late Ella Mowry, John J. Rice, Jr., and Esther Garrepy.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Dec. 19 in Mount St. Rita Chapel, Cumberland. Interment was in Resurrection Cemetery.