|"While in ministry in Sanya, I learned and received much from those who are thought by society to be without value in a country that prizes material possessions and status."|
After earning her BS in Nursing, Rita Burdzy of Saint Louis, Missouri, served as an Army Nurse at Fort McClellan in Alabama in 1974. After three years she entered the Maryknoll Sisters' Congregation in 1978. Sister Rita studied in the Core Theology Program at Maryknoll School of Theology at Maryknoll, N.Y. Following this, Sister Rita studied Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and also became certified as a formator after taking courses in the Institute of Religious Formation at St. Louis University.
Sister Rita was assigned to Japan in 1981, where she audited nurses courses at St. Mary's Junior College of Nursing in Tokyo. She earned a Japanese Nursing License having done all her studies and received her license, all in Japanese!
Sister Rita then served as a volunteer nurse at the Sanyu Clinic, in Sanya, Japan, a district of Tokyo. She served there until 1992. From 1993 to 1998 Sister Rita was Co-Director of Cngregational Orientation for the Maryknoll Sisters at Maryknoll, New York. She earned her MSN in Public Health Nursing from Saint Louis University in 2001. One year later, Sister Rita was involved in family ministry. She returned to Japan in 2002 where she celebrated her Silver Jubilee of Profession as a Maryknoll Sister.
Sister Rita then began as a volunteer at "Place Tokyo", a community based organization, begun ten years previously, to support persons who are HIV, or who are living with AIDS, along with their families. They offer various programs and give preventive education. Sister Rita continues in Sanya and is now the nurse in charge of this Clinic.