Patricia O’Connell, CSJ

We remember her in the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring.

November 22, 1938 – May 6, 2021

Sister Patricia O’Connell celebrates her 65th year as a Sister of St. Joseph in heaven.  Surrounded by many of the sisters who entered with Pat in 1956, she is at peace – rejoicing in the wonders of God’s works. 

With her parents, William and Mary, and her family and friends gone before her, Pat celebrates her Jubilee.

 Pat and her brother, Michael, grew up in Brookline. She graduated from Mount Saint Joseph Academy and entered the Sisters of St. Joseph.  In her yearbook from the Mount, Pat is described as “pensive, firm of purpose but never demanding, hands eager to help, a heart ever at peace.”

 For most of her religious life, Pat heard Jesus’ call to welcome the little children. Her gentleness and nurturing manner were life-giving gifts for the children to whom she ministered. Her reassuring ways were a source of healing and comfort for the children and their parents.

Her ministries extended to many corners of the Archdiocese of Boston: Dedham, No. Quincy, Haverhill, E. Boston, West Roxbury, Weston, and Framingham. While living in Framingham, Bethany Hill Place opened its doors to the dear neighbor without distinction. Pat was an incredible supporter of this new ministry and she eagerly and enthusiastically volunteered in the Children’s Room. She also continued to bring her joy, gentleness and compassion to each child she encountered at the Children’s Center at Regis College.

Pat often took The Ride to Brighton to tutor in the Literacy Connection: no easy commute. “Her hands and heart were eager to help others” as was stated in her yearbook.

Pat’s brother, Michael, in CA, asked me to express his gratitude to the staff at Bethany Health Care Center for the love and care they lavished on Pat these years!  Michael said he was always so proud of his sister because “she spent her life loving”.  Pat was, indeed, a visible sign to others of God’s compassionate presence and love.

As Jesus put his arms around little children and gave them his blessing, so, too, Pat blessed thousands of children by her life of service and, for this, we will be forever grateful.

Pat, may you go now in peace – – faithful friend of God.

Given by Denise Kelly, CSJ
May 11, 2021