Sister Profile: S. Pat Quinn

Sister Pat Quinn


What was your motivation/inspiration in entering the CSJ community?

Over the years I have given thought to this question.  The answer that comes to me most often is that it was specific Sisters of St. Joseph who taught me at Redemptorist (in Kansas City) in both grade and high school.  Two Sisters in particular come to mind:  Sister Mary Linus in sixth grade, and Sister Anna Joseph my sophomore year.  They both were so down-to-earth; they both took time with me.

What ministry has been your favorite?
While there have been some wonderful moments and memories around the years I taught in elementary schools here in St. Louis, Indianapolis and Kansas City, it was my work in rural, pastoral ministry that really enlivened me.  Parish ministry in Canton, Calhoun, and Cartersville, Georgia; Zwolle, Louisiana;  Yazoo City, Mississippi; and Ozark, Missouri; outreach ministry in Tutwiler, Mississippi; and three years with the Glenmary Home Missioners out of Nashville, Tennessee. 

The people I worked with and for were the source of so much learning, love and life.  Of course, another source of learning, love and life was community service as novice director with Sarah Heger and Mary Flick.  And, now, as a member of the Spiritual Care team at Nazareth, I am enriched on a regular basis.  So, is there a “favorite”?  Each has been a “favorite” of mine.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?    
Quidquid recipitur ad modum recipientis recipitur!  (St. Thomas Aquinas)

(“That which is received is received according to the mode of the receiver!”)

A close second is from my Dad:  “Boring is on the inside!”

What gets you out of bed and on your feet on tough days?
What gets me going is my golden opportunity to join with the Spiritual Care team at Nazareth Living Center and be about my day among some of the most delightful residents ever.  What a blessing; their spirits keep my spirits up!  In addition to the residents, there are their families, and my co-workers in all the different departments at Nazareth.  They all call to me on those “tough” days!

Do you have any “aha” moment that gave you a new perspective on the world?
Yes, one “aha” moment stands out in my memory:  Sr. Kate Regan and I began our rural, pastoral ministry in North Georgia together.  Kate had worked in Georgia for a couple of years; I had never worked in Georgia.  At that time Catholics were definitely in the minority when it came to religion. We were being introduced to a local group of people in Cartersville.  One lady asked me what I was doing in Georgia.  I responded with:  “I’m a nun.”  She smiled and said to me:  “Honey, none of what?” Reflection on that response has done more for me in terms of widening my perspective on “the world” than any article I could have read.

What do you find most interesting about the work you’ve done with the “dear neighbor”?What has been most intriguing to me over my years of working for and being with the “dear neighbor” is that the work/ministry has been mutual; it has been reciprocal.  Almost always, graced time for all.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
When time allows, I like to drive to Kansas City to visit my brothers, Dick and Frank; my nephews, Richard and Stephen and their families. I enjoy going for daily walks. I love to visit with my friends, in person and on the phone. I look forward to my quiet prayer time each morning.  I really like to read and see engaging movies.

What is your favorite book?
One of my all-time favorite novels is Five Smooth Stones

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