- Funeral Service
- 4:00pm - Monday, February 09, 2015
- St. Anne Catholic Church
- 2140 Westheimer Road (Map)
Houston, Texas 77098
- (713) 526-3276
Father Robert Gerard Ritz, C. S. B.
Reverend Father Robert Gerard Ritz of the Congregation of the Priest of St. Basil (The Basilian Fathers) died peacefully on the morning of Thursday February 5, 2015. He was 90 years of age.
He had been residing at the nursing home at St. Dominic’s Villa for some time after having suffered a stroke. His mind and spirit, however, remained clear and vigorous to the end. He continued his ministry there to those who sought him out.
Fr. Ritz was born in Rochester, New York to the late Lawrence G. Ritz and Kathleen Ryan Ritz. His sister, Dorothy Tschiderer died in 1997.
He leaves behind his niece Ms. Joan Tschiderer of St. Petersburg, Florida, his nephew Bill Tschiderer of Reedville, West Virginia and cousins John and Janet Schwan of Fairport, New York.
Father Ritz has served as a priest in many settings around the United States, Canada and briefly in Mexico and France since he was ordained a priest in 1951.
In the Houston area he has ministered in several parishes over the years. He first came here as a young priest in 1953 and began his ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish. He has served at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Wharton, Texas, at St. Anne’s Church in Houston and St. Theresa’s Church in Sugar Land. He worked for a time at Saint Basil’s Church (as it was then) in Angleton. While there, in addition to his work in the parish, he responded to the needs of AIDS patients in the area as well. He was, one of his brother priests has remarked, never lazy, always working.
Although his main work was parish ministry Father Bob was also a language teacher for a time at Aquinas High School in Rochester, New York and the University of St. Thomas in Houston and the College de Sacre Coeur, the former Basilian school in Annonay, France.
His loving family will deeply mourn the passing of their Father Bob. So too will his fellow priests, both Basilian and diocesan.
Bob’s faith in God and the Church was manifestly and deeply authentic.
He has enriched and delighted, consoled and strengthened many people over his long life with his humble, faith-giving, bright and vastly generous spirit.
There will be a viewing and scripture service at four o’clock in the afternoon, followed by the Mass of the Resurrection at five o’clock in the afternoon, Monday, February 9th at St. Anne’s Church, 2140 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX.
Interment will be at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery located at 6900 Lawndale Street, Houston, TX at ten o’clock in the morning, Tuesday, February 10th.