Sister Patricia (Maureen St. Patrick) Butler

Patricia, Pat or Patty as friends and family call her, was born on August 4, 1944, in Boston. She grew up in a small city called Chelsea about 25 minutes from metropolitan Boston.   Growing up in a mixed Polish, Irish and Italian neighborhood was a gift.  Being of Polish and Irish extraction herself, she was quite at home with this rich cultural mix. Church, school and neighborhood were the touchstones of Patty’s life for her first 13 years.  As an eight year old Patty helped clean vigil lights on Saturday morning’s at her parish Church of St. Stanislaus. The deep quiet in the presence of God, Patty felt prepared the foundation for her vocation. 

After Patty finished grammar school, she entered Cardinal Cushing High School in the fall of 1958. Here she met the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. With the influence of these joyous women the seedlings of a religious vocation continued to grow within her and on August 1, 1963, she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame at Ipswich, Mass. She completed her first degree, a BA in English and Teacher Education, at Emmanuel College, Boston, Mass., in June of 1969. She received an MA in Teaching and Behavioral Sciences from Bridgewater State College in 1977. From 1979 to 1984 she was a member of the Administrative Team at Cardinal Cushing High School.

After seventeen years of teaching/administration in the Archdiocese of Boston Schools, Sister Patricia ministered in Congregational Service for the next twenty-two years. First, she served as a as a member of Project Nicaragua, a SND initiative that had three components: education of the SND community throughout the world about post-Revolutionary Nicaragua, establishing an SND presence in the country, and helping to financially support both of the previous components. Subsequently, she became the Director of the International Office for Africa and Latin America, and then the Congregational Office of Mission Support until 2005. 

It was during these 22 years that the meaning of Patty’s religious vocation became most clear to her.   Deeply valuable relationships were made during these years. From language school in Bolivia in 1985 to the present, her vocation journey crossed four continents and most importantly her world was blessed by living among and learning from people made poor, meeting and working with so many Sisters of Notre Dame, as well as sisters and priests of other religious congregation, and people of many nations who  delighted in partnering together to create a world based on justice and inclusivity.  

From 2006 to 2018 Patty worked with the Holy Union Sisters whose US Province Office is located in Milton, Mass. As the Director of Mission Advancement she was able to share her knowledge and skills with this wonderful group of Sisters, founded in Douai, France – just about two hours North of Cuvilly, the birthplace of  St. Julie Billiart!

Today, Sr. Patricia continues to share her life experiences in classrooms, with parish groups in adult faith formation and faith sharing and reflection.

Enjoy this video, taken at the time of Sister Patty's 60th Jubilee.

Sister Patty Butler and Sister Roberta Rzeznik, at Sister Patty's 60th Jubilee Celebration at Emmanuel College in Boston, Mass.
Sisters Mary Gill and Patricia Butler, SNDdeN