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  • Writer's picturePeter Claver

Sister Patrick RIP

As a young woman of 20, Betty Kenny, as she was then known, wrote:

“The more I read of the labours of the missionaries, the more my zeal increases to do all I possibly can to assist them in their various needs… having read and learned all about the Sodality, I am most willing to make any sacrifice in order to be just exactly what is required of a true and perfect auxiliary missionary.”

Sr. Mary Patrick, as she would become known, was born on the 19th September 1925, in Ballyshane, County Wicklow, to Patrick and Nora Kenny. The second eldest of 6 children, she joined the Sisters of St. Peter Claver in Dublin, on the 14th of January 1946 and made her First Profession in Rome on the 24th of October 1949.

Sr. M. Patrick served in Holland, USA, Uganda, Nigeria, Zambia, Italy and Ireland. She made her final vows, in Kampala, Uganda, on the 24th of October 1959. A woman of deep prayer, she was elected twice as a General Counsellor and served as Mission Secretary for 15 years. As Mission Secretary she was responsible for dealing with requests from missionaries and distributing the funds received from our benefactors to them.

On nominating her to the post of Mission Secretary, the Superior General, Mother Laetizia Malinowska, wrote:

“Sr. Patrick, as well as being very capable with accounts and administration, has a very good religious spirit…wherever she has been, Sr. Patrick has left good memories of herself and gave the Congregation a good name. She never cast a shadow on the Congregation. You can tell this from the letters sent by the missionaries who knew her. She is a very good and competent Religious.
Since her return to Rome everyone has noticed and has really been touched by the way she has cooperated in the work with and showed great love to the current Mission Secretary, Sr. Teresa: she was never critical of her, she never made uncharitable comments, or showed that she could do it better herself… instead, everyone witnessed the great esteem in which she held her.”

Having finished her term as Mission Secretary and General Counselor, in 1996, Sr. M. Patrick returned to Dublin where she remained until now, continuing to witness to the love for God and the missions that moved her as a young woman of 20 and sustained her until her death on the 26th February 2018.

Those who knew her in her final years continued to comment on how kind she was. She was outstanding in her placidness in illness and in her cooperation with those taking care of her. Her gentle presence will be greatly missed

in the Dublin community.

"I am honoured and blessed to have known Sister Patrick. She was truly a blessing in my life and I will miss her."

​Jana Souza, (one of Sister Patrick's carers.)

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