Skip to main content

Bradley, Ritamary


Scholar, author, educator and pioneer in the Religious Formation movement; b. Jan. 30, 1916 in Stuart, Iowa; d. Davenport, Iowa, March 20, 2000.

The daughter of James and Mary (Muldoon) Bradley, Ritamary joined the Congregation of the Humility of Mary of Ottumwa, Iowa, in 1933, and in 1972, the Sisters for Christian Community. A graduate of Marygrove College in Detroit, Mich. (1938), she received a doctorate in English from St. Louis University in 1953. After teaching at Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa, from 1940 to 1956, she joined the English department at St. Ambrose in 1965, where she was professor emerita at the time of her death.

Sister Ritamary was a powerful force in the origins and development of the Sister Formation Conference. From 1951 to 1964 she served as Associate Executive Secretary with Sister Annette Walters, C.S.J., the Executive Secretary of the Conference. She was well in advance of major superiors in grasping the changes taking place in the church and the world, and the consequent demands upon religious-apostolic communities of sisters. Her most outstanding contribution came as founder and editor of the Sister Formation Bulletin (19541964). In this role, she empowered women religious of the United States by providing an open forum in which sisters could express their opinions and have them published without censorship from male editors.

With the advance of the electronic age, Bradley seized the opportunity to facilitate communication lines among all women religious and established SISTER-L, an e-mail discussion group for those interested in the history and contemporary concerns of Catholic women religious. In addition to her interest in the lives of women religious, Bradley involved herself in numerous civic and humanitarian issues. She was a member of the Davenport Civil Rights Commission; the Iowa Humanities Board program committee, and the Religion and Literature Advisory Board at the University of Notre Dame. She was a volunteer chaplain at the Scott County Jail and received the Volunteer Service Award in 1990.

Among her extensive writings are two books on the fourteenth century mystic Julian of Norwich. She cofounded the Fourteenth-Century English Mystics Newsletter, now the Mystics Quarterly.

[m. r. madden]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bradley, Ritamary." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 21 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Bradley, Ritamary." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (March 21, 2019).

"Bradley, Ritamary." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved March 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.