May 19, 1924 - November 4, 2009
Maryknoll, NY. Sister Patricia Mary Nolan died peacefully at the Maryknoll Sisters Residential Care Center on November 4, 2009. She was 85 years of age and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 62 years.
Patricia Nolan was born on May 19, 1924, to Rose M. O’Grady Nolan and George Francis Nolan in Brooklyn, NY. Her parents and a brother, George Francis Jr., have predeceased her.
Patricia studied at St. Agnes Academy in Rockville Centre, NY, graduating in 1942. After high school, she studied at St. John’s College in Brooklyn for one year and then took an R.N. course at St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing in Brooklyn, finishing in 1946. She worked at Kew Gardens (NY) General Hospital for one year. She later studied at Mary Rogers College at Maryknoll, NY, finishing a B.S. in adult education in 1971.
Patricia had been a member of St. Catherine of Siena parish in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters on October 31, 1947, at our novitiate in Valley Park, MO, taking the religious name of Sister M. George Francis. She made her first profession of vows on May 8, 1950, at Valley Park and her final profession on the same date three years later in Siuna, Nicaragua.
Sister Patricia was assigned in 1950 to Nicaragua, where she served as a nurse in a parish clinic in Siuna until 1958. She then went to Bolivia to work at the hospital in Riberalta, in the Beni River region, until 1958. This was followed by two years in a parish medical clinic in Azangaro.
After a renewal period in the United States, Sister Patricia did mission awareness promotion work at Maryknoll until 1963. She then returned to Central America to work in a small hospital run by the Maryknoll Sisters in Jacaltenango, Guatemala, until she moved to San Antonio, Guatemala, to work in a parish clinic. She also worked in a parish clinic in Guatemala City starting in 1964.
In 1966, Sister Patricia returned to the United States for another three-year term conducting mission awareness programs. This was followed by more studies at Maryknoll and a refresher course in nursing at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City.
Sister Patricia returned to Nicaragua in 1972, where she did pastoral work in a parish in Pueblo Nuevo. Starting in 1976, she worked in a parish in Limay, which had no resident pastor. She trained local leaders to work among the farmers, led Scripture reflection groups, and prepared people for the sacraments.
In December 1978, Sister Patricia and another Maryknoll Sister were driving their Jeep to Nicaragua through Mexico when they were involved in a very serious one-car accident between Monterrey and Saltillo. Both had serious injuries and eventually returned to the United States.
Sister Patricia gradually recovered from her injuries while the other Sister remained in a coma for several years until her death in 1981. Sister Patricia remained in the United States after that and was a social services volunteer at the Maryknoll Residential Care Center. She retired fully in 2006.
In September 2009, Sister Patricia was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor in her esophagus. After a short hospital stay, she resided at the Maryknoll Residential Care Center until her death.
Sister Patricia is survived by her sister, Nancy O’Donnell, and her brother-in-law, Creedan O’Donnell. A Vespers service was held November 9 in the main chapel of the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial was held at the center on November 10.
Burial will be at the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery. Dorsey Funeral Home of Ossining, NY, is handling the funeral arrangements.