Sister Profile: S. Pat Dunphy

For 48 years, Sister Pat Dunphy has lived out her ministry of education. It wasn’t always her passion though. Sister Pat had always longed to be a nurse but was urged to follow the path of a teacher. Since starting as a school teacher, she has never looked back. Even though she retired recently, she’s still working for better education in our community. Learn more about Sister Pat’s ministry and the words of advice she has for the community.

What was your motivation/inspiration in entering the CSJ community?
I entered the Sisters of St. Joseph because I was impressed by the relationships they had with their students, their sense of humor and their presence. I attended St. Teresa’s Academy in Kansas City, Mo., which was, and still is, a sponsored institution of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

What is your favorite ministry you have served or been involved with?
For the past 48 years I have been involved in the ministry of education. Education was not my first choice with regard to ministry. I really wanted to be a nurse, but our Novice Director Sister John Marie seemed to believe I was better suited for teaching. I guess after 48 years, she was right!

I have been an elementary school teacher and principal, a secondary school teacher, theology department chair, assistant principal and principal. After officially retiring from school work, I am working toward establishing a secondary education association for all our high schools sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph. I believe this association has the potential of sharing our mission and charism with our lay partners as well as providing mutual support and the sharing of creative ideas among CSJ educators.

What experience shaped you most as a person of God?
What has shaped me the most is my continual awareness of the presence of God in my life. My favorite mantra is, “ Show up, so God can show off.” This mantra motivates me to strive to be present to the NOW.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
The best advice I have ever received was from my dad, which was, “Have the kind of day you want to have.” This has reminded me so often that actively participating in the moment is my responsibility and the best way to see the face of God.

What would you say is the most important societal or worldly problem we face?
Serving the dear neighbor without distinction. I love this value of the Sisters of St. Joseph because of its inclusivity and the challenge it brings to be in right relationship with whomever you meet and greet each day. It is not always easy to do!  This value seems more important to me today because of our struggles with the institutional Church, immigration and human trafficking.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy reading, working in the yard and visiting our local hardware store. I am fascinated by our social media and always curious about how to use it with what I am doing. I try to participate in as many CSJ community events as possible because I value what we do together.

by Abby Blaes
Posted August 7, 2014

<< Back to News

Change Text Size   A|  A|  A