Welcome To St. Felix Pantry
We are truly saddened to announce the passing of our foundress, Sr. Genevieve
Ryskiewicz, Sister Mary Genevieve
June 3, 1923 - May 13, 2016
In her 75th year of consecrated life, Felician, Sister Mary Genevieve Ryskiewicz, passed away on Friday, May 13, 2016. Baptized Julia, she was the second of nine children born to Boleslaus (Benny) and Marianne Pryga Ryskiewicz of Mosinee, WI. Raised on a farm, Julia learned early in life the value of work and the care of her neighbors. Deep within her heart she always had a love for the poor of the world and from early childhood was the chosen sibling to carry bread to neighboring families. After leaving Mosinee High School in 1938 she moved to Chicago, IL, where she worked until 1941, when she decided to enter the convent. Led by the Spirit, she arranged for a taxi to take her there and the cab driver, not sure of which convent, delivered her to the Felician Sisters Provincial House on 3800 West Peterson Avenue. It was there that the blessing of her life began to unfold. At Investiture she received the name Genevieve and soon learned of St. Felix of Cantalice whose life was a weaving of taking care of the needs of others and in prayer. Sister prepared for the future engaging in classes for the culinary arts. Sister first ministered at the Mother of Good Counsel Provincial House in Chicago and in later years in South Milwaukee, WI, and in Birmingham, AL. From 1950 to 1955 sister ministered at Holy Rosary Hospital in Corning, IA. From 1955 to 1975 she ministered in Ponca City, OK, at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Provincial House. It was here that her farming skills were engaged and her help to the poor took on roots and a new life.
When the Southwest Province moved from Ponca City to Rio Rancho, NM, in 1975 Sister Genevieve continued her ministry to the sisters by cooking, canning and raising a huge garden and never neglecting her prayer life. Upon her shopping trips she observed that usable food was being disposed of and here she began to collect food and share with those who had none. She first set up provisions in a convent garage and hung up her first St. Felix Pantry sign. With her loving and life-giving personality, it took no time for numerous volunteers to assist her in her ministry to the poor. Her kind and generous works became known throughout Rio Rancho and in 1994 she was named Woman of the Year. When the garage space became inadequate, the former Venezia’s restaurant was purchased and became the new location for St. Felix Pantry. This soon to become sacred space was blessed by Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan on August 9, 1995.
Sister Genevieve proudly led the procession carrying a statue of her beloved provider, St. Felix of Cantalice. Relieved of her culinary duties she devoted her time to taking care of her poor. 1996, took its toll when she was struck with cancer but as with all other challenges, with the grace of God, Sister overcame her affliction and continued her many services. Annually with the help of Julian Garza and her many volunteers, those in need were annually provided with a free Thanksgiving Day dinner. With declining health, sister ended her active full-time ministry at The Pantry in 2008 and assumed her prayer ministry in which she held not just the local needs, but that of the world. Mary Genevieve will be remembered for many things but her kindness and acceptance of others and her love for all creation will be at the top of the list. She was a woman of service powered by her life of prayer and anyone whose life she touched was forever changed. Sister was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Eugene and Edmund Ryskiewicz and is survived by her sisters Frances Swientek, Lottie Springe, Esther Zogata and Angie Maliszewski and her brothers John and Benny Ryskiewicz.
Vesper Prayers and visitation will begin at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at Our Lady of the Assumption Chapel, 4210 Meadowlark Lane SE in Rio Rancho NM. Rosary and Wake Services will be held at 6:30 PM at the same location. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday (Feastday of St. Felix) at 9:30 AM, also at the same location. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Albuquerque, NM. (In lieu of flowers please make a donation to St. Felix Pantry, 4020 Barbara Loop, Rio Rancho New Mexico, 87124 or the Felician Sister’s Retirement Fund, 4210 Meadowlark Lane SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124-1021.)
To view information or leave a condolence, please visit www.danielsfuneral.com
"The St. Felix Pantry is lovingly sponsored by the Felician Sisters. We envision a future where everyone in New Mexico has access to nutritious food."