Sr. Pat Moore and Ann Dutrow review the music to be used at a wake service and liturgy.

Sr. Patricia Moore’s relationship with the Sisters of St. Francis dates back to her grade school years at St. Elizabeth School in Baltimore and later at the Catholic High School of Baltimore. “I found the sisters very friendly,” she explained, “and they seemed to be very happy.” That attraction deepened when Pat was a junior and joined a group of her classmates at a weekend retreat at the motherhouse. “It was a wonderful experience,” she recalled—remembering even the detail of the cost—$25!

Sr. Pat’s years in ministry began in education but eventually she studied nursing and ministered for many years at St. Agnes Hospital in Philadelphia. Her current ministry as part of the Franciscan Care Team in Assisi House, the sister’s retirement residence, began in 2006. When she was at the Glen the weekend of her golden jubilee, she was asked if she would work at Assisi House for a year to fill in for a sister who was on sabbatical. At the end of that year, she was asked to continue and agreed if the world could be on a part-time basis. Currently Sr. Pat works as a volunteer along with a number of other sisters. Explaining why she chose to continue this ministry, Sr. Pat said, “I want to continue helping with the needs of our sisters. I enjoy being with them and I try to always be a joyful presence to them. I love to see them smile and laugh.”

Sr. Pat’s responsibilities at Assisi House basically involve looking after the needs of the sisters—whether those needs be providing needed toiletries or clothing, accompanying a sister on an emergency trip to the hospital, notifying a sister’s family about a change in health status, scheduling a vigil for a sister who is dying, and—in some cases, contacting family members about a sister’s death. At other times she runs errands for the sisters—going to the post office to mail packages, having watches repaired—any little thing that needs doing.

As in any position, there are challenges. For Sr. Pat, one of the greatest challenges is that she can’t always meet all of the needs of the sisters. At times she tends to get uptight because of that. However, she deals with that frustration by reminding herself to live in the present moment, recalling that God said, “I AM”—not “I was” or “I will be”!

Sr. Pat Moore and Sr. Kathleen Swan select needed toiletry articles for the sisters they have visited.

Sr. Pat Moore and Nurse Natalie chat with Sr. Catherine Georgine Portner who is celebrating 80 years as a Sister of St. Francis.

And the blessings? Sr. Pat finds multiple blessings at Assisi House—both when she’s working and when she’s just visiting. “I like people and I like to be with people,” she explained. “I can make them smile and laugh. If someone seems down, I try to cheer her up.” Sr. Pat also frequently goes to Assisi House on her day off—just to visit.  And her reason? “It seems like home—like being at home with family,” Pat said simply. Somehow Pat’s words today seem to echo her early attraction to the sisters she knew as a child—“friendly….seemed very happy.” And today? “Liking people…like to be with people…like home…being with family…seeing sisters smile and laugh and…” Yes—a very definite similarity and likeness!

Ann Marie Slavin, OSF