Sister Patricia Marie Hafey, Maryknoll Sister for 68 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Patricia Marie Hafey, M.M. died on May 6th, 2020 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 90 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 68 years.

Patricia was born in Long Beach, New York on July 11th, 1929 to Mary (Gavin) Hafey and Francis Hafey. Her family later moved to Springfield, Massachusetts where she was raised. She had four brothers: Brian, Robert, Richard and William and two sisters: Virginia and Catherine. Her brothers, Richard and William have predeceased her.

From 1944-1945, Patricia attended Cathedral High School in Springfield, MA and then transferred to Sacred Heart High School also located in Springfield, MA; graduating in 1947. Following high school graduation, she enrolled in the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent, New Jersey, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Home Economics in 1951.

She then entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY on September 6th, 1951 (from Holy Name Parish in Springfield, MA.) At her Reception into the Congregation she was given the religious name, Sister Marie Assunta and returned to her baptismal name after Vatican Council II. She made her First Profession of Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY on March 7th, 1954 and her Final Vows on the same date in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1960.

In 1954, Sister Patricia received her first mission assignment to teach at St. Anthony’s School in the Bronx, NY; after a few months she was transferred to Transfiguration School in Chinatown, New York City.

In 1955, she was assigned to Hawaii where she spent the next eight years teaching. First, she taught English and American Government at Maryknoll High School in the Punahou district of Honolulu and then homemaking at St. Anthony Girls School on the island of Maui in Wailuku.

Sister Patricia then responded to a need to teach in Tanzania, East Africa in 1963. There, she taught at Rosary Secondary School in Mwanza and setup a Home Economics Department until 1971. She then relocated to Musoma Language School, Tanzania in 1972 to study Swahili. From 1973 – 1977, she took a break from teaching and served as Coordinator for a Pastoral team in the Village of Ntodeye in the Ngara Diocese.

Sister Patricia returned to the U.S. in 1977 to do Congregational Service at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY. She volunteered her time in the Development and Promotion Departments until 1981. She then returned to Tanzania once again, teaching religious education in parish schools in the town of Tarime. During this time, she also served as Coordinator for a Pastoral Team in the Diocese of Musoma until 1984.

In May of 1984, Sister Patricia suffered serious injuries in a road accident and returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY for rehabilitation. She remained there volunteering in the Data Processing Office until 1987. She then spent the next year working with the Africa Faith and Justice Network in Washington, D.C.

From 1989 – 1997, Sister Patricia worked in the Congregation’s IT Department and in the Social Services Office in the Maryknoll Sisters Nursing Home. She then relocated to the Maryknoll Sisters residence in Monrovia, CA to retire, but remained an active volunteer. She spent her time tutoring English and writing letters to prisoners.

In 2012, Sister Patricia returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY to fully retire.

Funeral Services: She will be buried at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, funeral services will be scheduled for a date in the future when group gatherings are deemed safe. Sister Patricia’s family and our community remember her soul in prayer during this difficult time.