Sr Rita Barrieau
1935 - 2022
Sr Rita Barrieau
Visitation Information
Jeudi 19h-21h et Vendredi 12h-15h / Thursday 7-9 pm and Friday 12-3 pm
Visitation Time
Visitation Location
Centre funéraire Frenette Funeral Centre, 88 rue Church Street, Moncton
Service Information
Service Date
Friday, September 23, 2022
Service Time
16h / 4 pm RÉVISÉE / REVISED
Service Location
Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption Cathedral, 226 rue St. George Street, Moncton
Burial Information
Burial Location
Cimetière Notre-Dame-du-Calvaire Cemetery, Dieppe
Requested Charity
Maison Nazareth House
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It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Sister Rita Barrieau who has taken her place beside her Lordat her residence on Sunday September 11, 2022 at the age of 86 years old. She joins her parents, Léonard and Léonie; her older sisters: Irène, Ethel and Florine; her younger brother, Rufin; her beloved brothers and sisters-in-law: Eloi (Eva), Alfred (Ethel), Aldéric (Aline), Paul-Émile (Marguerite) and Maria (Rufin); her little niece, Murielle (Eloi and Eva); and her grand-nephews: Matthew (Alfred and Ethel) and Jeffrey (Rosaire). With them, in great love of her family, she will watch over those left in mourning, her brothers and sisters: Father Yvon, Eva, Cécile, Maria, Alfred, Rosa, Aline, Rhéa, Marguerite, Rosaire and Marcel; her brother-in-law, Louis (Maria); her sisters-in-law: Edna (Alfred), Muriel (Rosaire) and Susan (Marcel); 208 nephews and nieces; her loyal companions: Raymonde and Chantal; as well as numerous cousins, friends and admirers from all over the world.

A chapter finished, a page turned, a life well lived, rest well deserved.

Born in Acadieville, Rita attended elementary school in her native village and high school at the Notre-Dame-d’Acadie College in Moncton. She received her religious training with the Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur Sisters, thereafter, completing studies at the Teacher Training College to teach successively at Grande-Digue, Beresford and Notre-Dame-d’Acadie College, between 1957 and 1966. Medical technician training in Saint John led to work at the Stella-Maris Hospital laboratory in Sainte-Anne-de-Kent from 1968 to 1972. In parallel, she completed studies for a Bachelor of Arts at l’Université de Moncton in 1970.

After various group and hermitage experiences, Rita opened her door to a troubled homeless woman in a small Moncton apartment in 1978; this led to her greatest work, the launching in 1979 of the first homeless shelter in Moncton, Nazareth House. The marginalized and needy were welcomed with hot meals, shelter for the night, spiritual counselling and, eventually, a clothing store and a toy shop at Christmas. Known as the Mother Teresa of Moncton, Rita adopted fully the teachings of Jesus: what you do to the least of my brothers, you do to me. She dedicated 15 years to Nazareth House before taking sabbatical leave after ensuring the shelter remained in good hands. Rita subsequently followed her calling to help the most vulnerable in Haiti, where she remained from 1998 to 2001, before returning home for health reasons. She joined the team at the Cenacle, a spiritual healing centre in Cacouna (Québec) for 13 years before moving closer to her elder sister, Irène, at the congregation of the Sisters of Marie-de-l’Assomption in Campbellton until she died. Sister Rita returned to Moncton in 2019 where she joyously welcomed the realization of her vision, the opening of a new, larger building with attendant services for the homeless served by Nazareth House in Moncton. She devoted numerous hours and days as a volunteer, including through the pandemic, until health issues no longer allowed her to do so shortly before her death.


Visitation will take place at Frenette Funeral and Cremation Centre, 88 Church Street, Moncton (858-1900) on Thursday September 22 from 7 to 9 pm and Friday September 23 from 12 noon to 3 pm. A celebration of life will be held at the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption Cathedral, 226 St. George Street, Moncton on Friday September 23 at 4 pm. The funeral mass will be videotaped and the video will be available on her obituary at the end of the day on where messages and donations can be made. Interment will be at Our Lady of Calvary cemetery in Dieppe.

It is not time for tears. Rita left joyously to meet the Lord she lovingly served throughout her life. Happy the faithful servant! Her last thoughts were for the continuation of her work at Nazareth House; a donation in her memory would be greatly appreciated at a UNI bank branch, online at, and during visitation at the Frenette Funeral Centre.


Sr Rita Barrieau