Rita Prothman


Rita Prothman
Born: 30 Aug 1924 in Salvador, Sask. Canada
Died: 6 Mar 1983 in Alberta, Canada

Father: Carl Dominic Prothman
Mother: Catherine Murphy Prothman

Married: date: abt 1970 in Canada. Married name Wakaruk.

15 Aug 1940  at the age of 16,
Rita entered the Ursuline community as a novice. She made her first vows on 15 Aug 1942 and she made her Perpetual Vows on 31 Aug 1945, the day after her 21st birthday. She was known at Sister Mercedes.  Sister Mercedes was a a school teacher during the years she was in the Ursuline Community.

After 23 years in the community Rita received dispensation from her vows on 13 Jul 1963.  The records do not give the reason for her leaving.  Most communities had members leaving in the 60s because of the many changes in the church, community, etc. the records show her intention was to transfer to the community of Sisters of mission Service, a new community which had been founded in Saskatoon in the 1950s.  For one reason or another the transfer did not or could not happen and so an indult of secularization was received.


Sister Mercedes (Rita)
Sister Zita (Patricia)
Carl D. Prothman
Catherine Prothman

Sept 1953




Sister Mercedes ( Rita Prothman)








I had Sister Mercedes as my Grade 7 teacher back in the village of Richmound, Saskatchewan in 1948-49. We had a public school with four classrooms, two of which were taught by Ursuline Sisters. The other two teachers were the principal, a married man, and a Protestant married woman. Because our village was about 50% Protestant and 50% Catholic, the school board tried to have both religious traditions represented on staff. Anyway, to get back to Sister Mercedes. I remember her as being quite tall with a rather thin face and pale complexion. She was soft-spoken, very bright and very kind. She loved classical music and taught us Grade 7,8,9's the most WONDERFUL music appreciation course. She would explain a musical work and then play it on a 78 rpm record for us to listen to with understanding. I loved every moment of it! From Sister Mercedes I learned to understand and love some of the world's greatest musical works such as Handel's oratorio "The Messiah," Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik," Saint-Saens' "Dance Macabre," plus numerous symphonies, concertos, and piano works. To this day I am an avid classical music fan and I cannot tell you how often I think of Sister Mercedes as I listen to CBC-FM and hear many of the classical works she taught us to appreciate away back then. She also taught us choral. Can you imagine a class of about 25 Junior High students - kids from the "sticks" - singing in four-part harmony? And loving it? We thought we sounded wonderful! I especially remember the boys singing bass and being so proud of their new deep voices. There are no words to express the depth and richness her choral and music appreciation classes have brought to my life over the years. God bless Sister Mercedes! Thought you would enjoy this. Prayerfully with gratitude,   Sister Teresita April 2003

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