Sister Patricia Marie Rutter, CSJ

We gather to celebrate and give thanks for the generous and faith-filled life of Sister Patricia Rutter, a Sister of St. Joseph for 45 grace-filled years.

Born to John and Margaret, Pat and her two brothers, John and Bob grew up in Holy Name Parish, Valley Stream.  As Pat often said, there was an idyllic feel to life ~ a life filled with wondrous yet simple happenings that nourished her spirit and soul.

After graduating from Stella Maris High School Pat worked in a variety of stores ~ her affability and love of people made her a star saleswoman especially at A&S.  She coached CYO basketball and taught CCD while attending Adelphi, all of which deepened Pat’s desire to be a teacher.  God’s call to religious life stirred in her soul and Pat sought out many meaningful retreat experiences to discern that call.

Pat entered the Community in 1978 finishing her degree at St. Joseph College.  Pat participated wholeheartedly in all that our formation program offered centering on her personal relationship with Jesus and the call of the Gospel.

It is to be noted that her renderings of life in Brentwood in the Pines fueled many jovial and boisterous gatherings over the years!

Embarking on her teaching career in 1982 brought Pat great joy as she nurtured the minds and hearts of students in OLPH.  Many are here today recounting Sister Josephine’s call to shape up or ship out!

Pat continued teaching at Infant Jesus, Sts. Cyril and Methodius, St. Martha’s and St. Camillus.  As an exemplary teacher each student’s growth in all areas of life was valued.  They were loved personally by a providential God ~ and she strongly believed that learning should be fun and fun it was ~ as recounted by so many of her students and co-workers.

Returning to her Alma Mater, Stella Maris, in 2007 was the oft-stated highlight of Pat’s teaching life ~ she loved Stella by the sea.   Her energy and devotion lived out Stella’s motto “A small school where big things happen”.

When Stella Maris HS closed Pat brought the same vitality to Bishop Kearney High School where her network of relationships spread wide and far.

Religious Education at the parish level was always dear to Pat’s heart and in 2015 she accepted the role as Director of Faith Formation in St. Savior Parish.

No matter where Pat ministered she was always perceived as a genuinely real character in the best sense of the word.  Her generosity and playful spirit brought the world of Dollar Tree, CVS, and Dunkin Donuts into everyone’s life  Pat’s countless notes and gifts were ”just thinking of you” reminders that you mattered ~ your life was important.   Add Gatorade to the mix and life was wonderful!

Dining out with Pat meant a hearty meal at McDonald’s or Burger King with the Coupon Queen always treating.  Pat’s culinary skills offered so selflessly in many arenas, especially at Stella Maris Convent brought people together “just to be together” ~  Pat’s life was certainly “other-centered”, animated by a sincere love of God and the dear neighbor.

For a personal glimpse of Pat’s life, Suzanne Franck who has walked with Pat since the glory days of 1978 will now offer a reflection.

Sister Patricia Marie Rutter, CSJ died on June 22, 2023 in the 45th year of her religious life.

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