In 1972, Sister Pat entered Maryknoll Sisters at the Orientation House in St. Louis, MO from St. Denis Parish in Yonkers, NY. In 1967, she graduated as an LPN from Grasslands Hospital (presently named Westchester Medical Center). It was during school there she met various Maryknoll Sisters who volunteered to help during supper hours at the hospital. In 1969, she began the RN program at Bronx Community College from which she graduated in 1972.
Completing the year of Orientation in St. Louis, in 1973, Sister Pat came to the Maryknoll Sisters Center and was assigned to Nicaragua. Before leaving for Nicaragua, Sister Pat worked at Bethany Retirement/nursing Home for the ill and retired sisters. Her work there was to evaluate the Sisters’ need for Physical Therapy. She also attended the Mission Institute at that time. In January 1974, she made her First Commitment in OPEN 3, Managua. One month later she finally arrived in Cochabamba, Bolivia for language study.
Following 6 months of language school, Sister Pat returned to Nicaragua. She was assigned to live in the small towns of Condega/Pueblo Nuevo in the highlands of Nicaragua where she lived and ministered with lay missioner Gerry Twigg in the formation of health promoters for the Diocese of Esteli. In 1977, she was invited to Panama by Sister Jennifer McDonald to help in an evaluation of a Diocesan Women’s Ministry program she had established. Following the six month program, Sister Pat returned to the Maryknoll Center in NY for a Year of Reflection.
In 1978, Sister Pat again returned to Central America to join a team of two Maryknoll Sisters in La Libertad, El Salvador. Shortly after beginning their ministry in the Diocese of El Salvador, the violence increased in the country. Bishop Romero had been named to the Diocese as Archbishop, as the violence increased. The Archbishop was an exceptional leader for all the people especially the poor campesinos (poor farmers). Sister Pat and the other sisters feel privileged for having been a small part of the Diocese. As the violence increased, the sisters participated with the other priest and religious in following the Archbishop’s lead in helping in many ways.
During her twenty-five years in Central America, Sister Pat experienced many situations of violence and was known for her cool head during these moments of crisis. Including, the running of a refugee center in Leon, Nicaragua for 500 men, women and children during the war in Nicaragua, during the months of June and July, 1979, with Sister Pat Murray, Julie Miller, Rita Owczarek, Gerry Brake, Joan Uhlen and Joan Murray.
From 1983 – 1986, Sister Pat was assigned as Director of Nursing for the Maryknoll Nursing Facility in NY. In 1986, she returned to Nicaragua and ministered with Sister Ann Hayden in towns of Villa Nueva and Jinotepe. They began a program for Health Promoters, a Women’s program and a “roving” team for Leadership Training. In 2001, both Sisters were asked to return to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY to take the positions of Administrator, (Sister Pat) and Director of Nursing (Sister Ann) at the Maryknoll Nursing Facility. In 2012, Sister Pat was elected as a Center Coordinator with 3 other sisters.
In 2016, both Sisters began a new ministry in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. They are ministering as Pastoral Ministers in the Parish of St. Anne’s in Penitas, Texas.