Sister of Providence honored for 60 years of service across the Inland Northwest

SPOKANE, Wash. – Not many people get a parade as they head into retirement. 

But then again, not many people have lovingly served a mission for 60 years like Sister Rosalie Locati. 

Sister Rosalie is a beloved figure in her hometown of Walla Walla, in Pullman and in Spokane, where has served as the mission director at Providence Sacred Heart for more than two decades. 

On Friday, she will retire after six decades as a Sister of Providence. 

4 News Now’s Derek Deis has had the privilege of knowing Sister Rosalie since his freshman year at Washington State University. She worked in ministry at St. Thomas More Catholic Church at the time and she even attended his wedding. 

“For 136 years, from 1886 to Friday, 2022, September 9, there have been Sisters of Providence at Sacred Heart. And as of this Friday, that legacy will stop,” she said.  

Sister Rosalie has been at Sacred Heart for 22 years and calls retirement another step in her journey. 

“I am sad to be leaving Sacred Heart and Providence because I’ve received so much from our people and from serving in the role I have as a mission person. So it’s a new adventure. It’s a new call,” she said. 

Her smile and uplifting presence will be sorely missed by so many at the hospital. 

“Sister Rosalie is the soul of Sacred Heart in so many ways and of Providence. She brings inspiration by her presence, as well as her words,” said Susan Stacy, Chief Executive of Providence Inland Northwest. 

Looking back, Sister Rosalie calls her 13 years at St. Thomas More in Pullman the most joyful time of her ministry. 

“I found it exciting to be with young people, probing questions about life, about religion, about who they were going to be related to in terms of boyfriends and girlfriends,” Sister Rosalie said. 

Her focus will now turn to her health. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. 

“But as my doctor says to me, I have to live, so I will be doing some fun things. You can bet that,” she said. 

Speaking of fun… Providence threw Sister Rosalie a parade to celebrate her incredible legacy, even if she was a little uncomfortable with all the fuss. 

“She has given so much to our organization and we want to give back and really celebrate and honor her in a meaningful, but fun, way,” Stacy said. 

“I will grin and bear it, but I will also cherish it,” Sister Rosalie said. 

Just as she will cherish the relationships she has built over 60 years as a Sister of Providence. 

“I’ve been called to be a lover and I love people,” she said. 

She is confident Sacred Heart will carry on its mission to be expressions of God’s healing love and they’re pretty confident, too. 

“She has taught us well,” Stacy said. 

“It’s been a real privilege. A real blessing,” Sister Rosalie said.