Sr. M. Petra Riga, OSB


Sr. M. Petra Riga, who joined the Olivetan Benedictine Sisters of Holy Angels Convent 76 years ago, died September 16, 2018. She was 91 years old.


Florence Mary Riga was born in Shoal Creek, Arkansas to the late Frank and Katherine Riga. She entered Holy Angels Convent in 1942. After making First Vows in 1944, Sister served as a cook in the convent kitchen, at St. John’s Seminary in Little Rock, and at St. John’s Hospice in Hot Springs. She professed Final Vows on August 15, 1948. Afterwards, Sister Petra taught in elementary schools in Arkansas for many years. She was then assigned to St. Bernards Medical Center, where she supervised the Housekeeping, Laundry, and Property Control Departments at different times over a span of 24 years. Sr. Petra served as the administrator of Benedictine Manor in Hot Springs, and later returned to the Motherhouse, where she supervised the Infirmary and then served in Pastoral Care at St. Bernards. She also served one year as a missionary in Mexico City.


She is survived by her Sisters in community; two sisters, Joan O’Connell, and Martie Uebelhor; three brothers, Guy, Leo, and Steve Riga; and many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents and by her siblings, Roy, Rita, and Ivo Riga, and Jane Ferguson.


Visitation was held at Holy Angels Convent on Tuesday, September 18, at 6:30 p.m., with the Rosary at 7:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday, September 19, at 10:00 a.m. in the convent chapel, with interment at Mount Olivet Cemetery on the convent grounds.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Holy Angels Convent Retirement Fund, 1699 CR 766, Jonesboro, AR, 72401.