Sister Patricia Margaret Taylor, CSJ
Pat Taylor was born in 1939 into a very wonderful family in the heart of Brooklyn. Her parents, John and Teresa, were hardworking , very devout people who taught their children how to live a good life filled with joy and good works.
Pat had two brothers, John, whom she called Junie and Thomas. She had only one sister, but that was enough. Ronnie was not just her sister but her best friend. Pat’s Dad died quite unexpectedly when Pat was still young and her brother Junie took on the role of caring for his Mom and the family. Pat was very close to him. When Junie died very unexpectedly it was very difficult for Pat. She loved him so much!
Pat attended St Brendan’s Elementary and High Schools. After Graduation she worked as a bookkeeper at Schribners, a large corporation in New York City. However, the call to religious life was stirring within her heart and in 1959 she entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph. As she settled into Novitiate life, she was content that this was where she was meant to be. God, however, had other plans. Pat’s Mom became seriously ill and Pat returned home to care for her until her death many years later.
Again the call to religious life echoed in her heart and in 1970 Pat re-entered the Novitiate. This coming September she would be celebrating her 50th year as a Sister of Saint Joseph. During these years Pat’s ministry was always in a supportive role. She worked as a bookkeeper at St. James Elementary School on Jay Street, at St. Joseph’s High School on Bridge Street and at St Agnes Seminary in Brooklyn. Her ministry spilled out from her office as she related with the students and the staff. She was always kind and interested in them…and her bright blue eyes and her smile brightened up the school.
Even though she was now, “Sister Pat”, she still remained Pat. Patsy, Aunt Pat to her family. She adored all her nieces and nephews, and their children. And would do anything to help them out.
I believe the best way to speak to “who Pat Taylor was” is to look at the words on the back of her funeral card. Pat strove every day to be
SHE WAS SIMPLE…if there is one word that describes Pat it is simplicity…she had a child-like approach to life. …in a very good and wholesome way. In her simplicity she was unencumbered from self-interest or from what other people may think of her. She also had a great sense of humor and used it well. Pat also could be described as
A diamond in the roughand she exemplified that saying: “ You can take the girl out of Brooklyn but you can’t take Brooklyn out of the girl”
SHE WAS PRAYERFUL
Pat lived a life dedicated to the Blessed Mother and the Eucharist. Several months before she died, Pat made a Directed Retreat with Jo Andrew, the Pastoral Care Director at Sacred Heart Convent. This was a very moving experience for Pat. I believe that it prepared her for the difficult transition from Sacred Heart Convent in Hempstead to Maria Regina Residence in Brentwood. During these last weeks her purification with pain and a feeling of abandonment was like a dark night of the soul for her. In her pain she felt lost until the moment of letting go into the arms of God…as she heard the hymn “Amazing Grace” echo in her heart.
PAT WAS COURAGEOUS
To say Pat was courageous is an understatement. She suffered from severe Rheumatoid Arthritis for nearly all of her religious life. She faced her extreme pain and debilitation head on…and with determination. She never felt sorry for herself… didn’t wait to be cared for… Instead. She always had a ministry …she always cared for others.
Sometimes Pat’s living with courage took the form of a bull dog!!!! Sister Jean Amore shared an incident with me yesterday. At one point our Congregation had to make a very painful decision to close St. Agnes Seminary School. A meeting was held to inform the parents. At the end of the meeting the parents stormed the table where our Leadership Team sat. They were angry…screaming …hostile. This upset and angered our Dear Pat…she got up from her seat and pushed between the Leadership Table and the Parents. You can imagine the fury in her voice and and that look in her eyes as she ordered the parents to STOP!!!!….SIT DOWN!!!…. and you know that they did exactly as she commanded!!!! Pat courageously defended the Leadership in her own sweet way. And they were glad she was there to do it!!!
SHE WAS COMPASSIONATE
Pat had a way of simply being with people.. .no airs…no expectations. Often at Sacred Heart Convent we would find her sitting outside or in the Gazebo with Sister Vincent Louise… or Sister Mary Martin…as they became less and less able to communicate. She was simply in their presence with compassionate loving attention.
When her sister, Ronnie, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Pat left Sacred Heart Convent where her every physical, medical, spiritual and emotional need was addressed. She went to Staten Island to address Ronnie’s physical, medical, spiritual and emotional needs, with compassion… and yes…a wee fight just to keep things normal.
I’m sure that you, her nephews and nieces, experienced this same compassion from your Aunt Pat as you faced your difficulties,… your heartaches…your challenges. Aunt Pat was always there for you 100%…even more!!!
So we gather here this morning…we celebrate this woman… this Sister of Saint Joseph…
who lived her life
We give Pat back to her Loving God in the `words of this ancient Celtic Prayer.
Prayer of Commitment
I am no longer my own, but Yours.
Use me as You choose, rank me alongside
whomever you choose;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering,let me be employed for You,
or laid aside for You,
raised up for You,
or brought down low for You;
let me be full,
let me be empty;
let me have all things
let me have nothing.
With my whole heart I freely choose to yield all things to
Your order and approval!
So now, God of glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
are mine and I am Your own. Amen
From a Celtic Daily Prayer Book
Sister Patricia Lynch, CSJ
Sister Patricia Margret Taylor died on January 19, 2020.