Patricia Margaret Kelly was born in Bancroft, Ontario on August 24, 1920, the eldest of six children of Patrick Kelly and Ada Annie George. Her father’s parents were Irish Immigrants who came to Canada around the time of the potato famine in Ireland. Her father was a farmer and lumberman. Her mother, of English and Scottish descent, was a school teacher.
Patricia grew up on the family farm six miles south of Bancroft in an area called L’Amable. She attended the local public school until she completed grade 10. She had to stop school to help her parents cope with the depression. She spent one year working along side her father on the farm. In 1936 she worked in a number of homes in Belleville as a domestic until she entered the novitiate on August 15, 1938. Her parents were not happy about her joining a religious community. But she received support from her parish priest and encouragement from Sister Mary Joseph and her parents.
After her First Profession, Sister worked in the kitchen, laundry, refectory and garden at Heathfield. Her first mission was Tweed where she ministered as housekeeper.
After graduating as a nurse, she went to Daysland, Alberta where she did general duty nursing and also worked in the operating room. She then became the O.R. Supervisor at Providence Hospital, Moose Jaw and later at St. Francis Hospital, Smiths Falls. She was head nurse and then Director of Nursing at Holy Family Hospital, Vancouver. She later held the position of Director of Nursing at Providence Hospital, Moose Jaw. Sister became Director of Pastoral Care at St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital, Kingston then at Providence Hospital, Moose Jaw and Holy Family Hospital, Vancouver. In 1993 she did volunteer work at the Kingston Penitentiary in the Treatment Centre.
Sister is a graduate of St. Mary’s School of Nursing, Montreal. She received her Bachelor of Nursing Science from the University of British Columbia and did several courses in psychology from U.B.C., obtained a Diploma in Theology from the Toronto School of Theology and received a Certificate as Specialist in Institutional Ministry for the Canadian Association for Pastoral Education. She is also a certified chaplain with the Canadian Council of Churches.
Many people were touched by Sister Patricia in her ministry of health care. Her leadership ability in many areas of nursing, supervising and spiritual care as well as her deep compassion for the most vulnerable gained her great respect and love.
Sister Patricia was called home to her loving God on June 28, 2009 in the 71st year of her religious life.
The Mass of Christian Burial, held in the Chapel of Mary, Mother of Compassion, Providence Motherhouse on May 21, was presided over by Most Reverend Brendan O’Brien accompanied by other members of the clergy. Reverend Msgr. Don Clement was the homilist.