Ann Catherine Rutan was born on August 27, 1934 in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. She was the youngest of four children born to Gordon and Elizabeth McGlynn Rutan. Ann Catherine had three sisters: Jane, Mary and Catherine. At around age 10, Ann's family moved to Irvington, New Jersey. Ann attended St. Leo's School in Irvington and Our Lady of the Valley High School in Orange, NJ.
In 1952, Ann was employed as Secretary to the Assistant Treasurer of the American Fore Loyalty Group in Newark, NJ. She worked there for ten years and was referred to as "an outstanding employee, both in her work and as a person." At age 28, Ann started her postulancy training on September 12, 1962 at St. Michael's Novitiate in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. On July 3, 1963, Ann Catherine Rutan received the religious habit and was given the name Sister Mary Incarnata. Her two year novitiate continued and on July 3, 1965 Sister Incarnata pronounced her First Vows.
Following First Profession, Sister Incarnata was assigned to teach at St. Luke's Elementary School in HoHoKus, NJ. Two years later, she was transferred to Jersey City, NJ to serve, first, in the St. Joseph Messenger Office and, then, in the Personnel Dept. at St. Joseph School for the Blind. At this time, Sister Incarnata returned to her Baptismal name. Sister Ann's excellent skills with business and finances were soon recognized. Starting in 1970 and continuing to 2003, she was called upon to assist and assume the leadership role in Provincial and Congregational Government. To enhance her knowledge and improve her management and administration skills, Sister Ann acquired a BS degree in Management from Seton Hall University and a MS degree in Administration from Notre Dame University. Sister Ann also served on various boards and committees, and in administration of CSJP sponsored ministries.
Sister Ann was deeply committed to serving the Blind. Her assignments and appointments in the community did not allow time for direct service. But she believed that she facilitated the mission through her work in Province and Congregation leadership. In response to a request for an update on ministry, she wrote "In all of these [leadership] ministries, I always felt that through my work in the Congregation, I was enabling the work of our sisters and the ministries we sponsored."
Sister Ann celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 2013. At this time, she started to show signs of severe memory loss and confusion associated with Alzheimer's disease, which was fatal to her two sisters in the past decade. Sister Ann's condition deteriorated rapidly. She was placed on hospice care in June, 2015. Sister Ann died peacefully on July 27, 2015. Her funeral mass was offered in St. Michael Villa chapel. She was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington, NJ. Sister Ann was predeceased by her three sisters. She was survived by several nieces and nephews.
"We are consciously choosing to shape the future rather than allowing the future to shape us."
Sheila Lemieux, CSJP