At age seven, Pat was asked by a priest what she wanted to be when she grew up. She replied, “I want to be a priest.” Father Hinckley explained that ordination was out of the question, but he became her teacher, friend and mentor.
Though Pat couldn’t become a priest, she could become a Sister. Deeply grateful for her military upbringing that opened to her a wider world, she saw Religious Life and becoming a Sister of Notre Dame as a way of working for something greater than herself. That awareness has translated into a life spent in following Christ and serving God’s people.
Sister Pat began teaching in elementary school, then moved to secondary schools in Marysville, San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento. One of her most transformative experiences was being involved with Cesar Chavez and the farmworker movement in Sacramento. She saw firsthand the challenges and dangers that women had to endure when working in the fields. Sister found her real love in teaching history and political science and working with students at Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) in Belmont, where she served for 25 years.
Sr. Pat has been a member of the World Affairs Council and Africa Faith and Justice Network. She served six years on the San Francisco Archdiocesan Faith and Justice Commission, two years as Chair. Living on the NDNU campus, Sr. Pat continues mentoring university students and staying involved in issues of social justice.
Good friend Muriel Brennan shares, “Service is her joy. On Sundays, Sr. Pat faithfully journeys to San Jose to visit her sister Kay who is in an extended care facility for cancer. While at the facility, Sr. Pat also extends greetings to many of whom have no one to visit them. In this practice of spreading joy, she finds joy also.”