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Aperçu de la mission de Sœur Patricia
It is fitting that at this time of international celebration of Catholic Sisters' Week we take time to look at how the chaarism of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit has been lived and caarried on through the ministry of Sister Patricia RICKIS.
Pat was born in Hartford, Connecticut although her family lived a couple towns away. To assure her a Catholic School education for her earliest formation, her parents willingy transported her into Hartford each day so she could attend St. Anne's School administered and staffed by the DHS. Pat's experience with the DHS continued throughout her 4 years of high school while she studied as a boarder at Putnam Catholic Academy then located at the Provincial House. Soon after graduation Patricia entered the Novitiate and made profession in 1962.
Like othr newly professed Pat completed her undergraduate college program with a BS from Diocesan Sisters College on the campus of Annhurst College in Woodstock, CT. With her new degree in hand, Sr. Pat was missioned to St. Cecilia School in Leominster, Massachusetts where she would remain for eight years working essentially with middle school aged students and making her mark while inplementing the charism (education of children).
From Leominaster our young educator responded to the call to teach in Tupper Lake, N.Y. where she once again wielded her expertise with students at the junior high level and instilled in them a strong sense of self-esteem and correct decision making skills. At the same time Patricia made it a point to get to know the families of her students and to involve them as much as possible in the education of their children. She also lent a helping hand in the parish and community at large.
For Pat, he best opportunity to bring the DHS charism to life was the 39 years she spent working in the Bridgeport, Connecticut region where she had the occasion to work with persons of other cultures and backgrounds. Here in the classroom and in the parishes, Sister quickly came to appreciate the full meaning of going towards others, becoming aware of their needs, acdemically, socially, pesonally , and doing her utmost and drawing upon her creativity and other resources to offer them a better life for the present and to prepare them to build their own improved conditions for the future.
Sr. Pst ministered in very poor, margenalized and dangerous neighborhoods. Students were threatened and even murdered, and Pat, while sometimes fearing for her own safety, went to her students' homes, involved herself in their lives and tried as much as she could to help them survive and thrive.
She never sought recognition , she never stopped giving. To her surprise and immense joy, many of those she had served over the years planned a farewell gathering when she announced her impending retirement. They came, they sang her praises, laughed and cried as they shasred their stories. It was truly an event to remember. One of the DHS Associates in attendance remarked that "it was like being in a circle of love".
Sister Patricia is retired now, and as she looks back upon her life as an educatr, she expresses her graatitude first and foremost for all those students and their families who touched her life over the years, changing it foreveer. She is also grateful for the numerous multicultural opportunities her students and their families offered her It was, she says, a whole new awakening, an eye opener unto the world as created by our God. At the same time, Sister did find it somewhaat challenging to adapt to many cultures and to service her students and families without infringing upon their privacy nor dictating how they shoud live. She tried daiy to go with the present moment, to respect her students in every situation and to show them how to create and live joyful and peaceful communities for themselves and all around them.
Although several years have passed since she was physically present to her 'little ones', the memories live on and Sr Pat remains in contact with those whom she loved and served as she cultivated and unfolded her gifts and the charism of the congregation to build communities of love and gratitude.
For more information on Sr Pat or on her ministries of service you may contact her at; Email
Françoise Gauthier. Published on March 17, 2020