"Trusting God in all times and in all things.”-St. Julie Billiart
Patricia McSharry grew up in Milton, Mass, the eldest of six siblings. Her father was firefighter and her mother a homemaker. But there was another great influence in Pat’s life—one of her grandmothers. Pat spent summers at her grandmother’s home on Cape Cod. While there, Pat was required to read to her grandmother for 30 minutes every day and say her prayers. At the time, these duties were not appreciated, but later Pat realized they lead her to value education, reading and prayer.
In Pat’s early education she was taught by Franciscan Sisters. She found them warm and caring and that experience planted in her an interest in religious life. At 23, Pat begin undergraduate studies at Regis College, funding those years herself with student loans. Later she would earn a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University.
Also while in her 20's, she attended a musical where they met a number of Sisters of Notre de Namur. She was impressed with their sense of joie de vivre. Later, invited to SNDdeN events, she noted their progressive responses to the changing times and a commitment to social justice.
She entered the SNDdeNs at age 29 adding to the legacy of other family members who had joined before her: Sisters Francis Lucille, Mary Lou O’Neill, Ellen St. Joseph O’Toole and Ann Virginia Donovan.
Sister Pat’s first mission took her to the Julie’s Family Learning Center in South Boston, which served mothers and children living in poverty. She learned much from Sister Louise Kerns, who taught her that one could give difficult and challenging advice to mothers if it was said with love.
Sister Pat had many missions over the years that included serving homeless families, campus ministry, vocation work, serving on the Boston provincial leadership team and as director of pastoral care at Notre Dame du Lac assisted living facility. Currently she serves as one of the three support coordinators in the Northeast. Sister says of these ministries, "Each of these ministries gave me an opportunity to serve others, to learn from and be challenged by those around me.”
At this time of her 40th Jubilee in 2021, Sister shared, “I am grateful for the gift of belonging to such a wonderful group of Sisters—women who are committed to the mission and social justice and are serving in the trenches.”