Director of Pastoral Services
St. Raphael Academy – Pawtucket, RI
Rita Pratt has been a steadfast presence at Saint Raphael Academy, dedicating 35 years of service to its youth and educators. Originally a teacher of Religion and English, she became Director of Pastoral Services in 1984 and has been responsible for prayer events, student and faculty retreats, the Lasallian Youth, the social justice program, and the training of retreat leaders and mentors for freshmen students and Eucharistic ministers.
More than formalities, every event and ceremony is an opportunity for Rita to impress upon students an emotional, meaningful connection, whether she is training honor guards at funeral processions to channel grief into prayer and action or encouraging empathy and new perspectives at student retreats or the annual Thanksgiving and Christmas drives that aid struggling families. In 2007, she received the Companions on the Journey Award from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, awarded to those who “contributed consistently and creatively on the parish/school and diocesan levels”
Her colleague of 25 years, Campus Minister Nancy Benoit, recommended Rita as a Distinguished Lasallian Educator of the Year, saying she admired Rita’s “zeal to develop gospel values, her concern for the disadvantaged and how she builds the community of Saint Raphael Academy.”