Sister Patrice Marie Coolick was born in Kingston, Pennsylvania, in 1941 and grew up on the east coast until 1954 when the family moved to Kansas City, Missouri. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1958 and was received into the novitiate in 1959. She received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1965 and a PA degree from St. Louis University in 1976.
Upon completion of her nursing degree, Sister Patrice was a member of the nursing staff at St. Joseph Hospital in Hancock, Michigan (1966-1967); and head nurse at St. Joseph Kirkwood Missouri (1967-1968).
In 1968, she began her international work and went to Lima, Peru, South America to work at Hospital Militar as a nursing supervisor (1968 to 1973) and the Clinic Virgin del Carmen (1973-1974).
After receiving her PA degree, she returned to Peru and worked as a public health nurse in the Department of Moho in Puno, Peru from 1982 to 1985.
In 1985, she volunteered to go to Thailand with ARC (American Refugee Medical Group) to work in the Cambodian Refugee Camps. While waiting for the required paper work, she worked as a replacement counselor at the Cuban Refugee Camp in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.
Returning from Thailand, Sister Patrice moved to California and received an MA degree from the University of Santa Clara in counseling psychology. She believed that the dual preparation of nursing and counseling psychology would be beneficial in any aspect of her future ministry. While at the University, she worked part time at O’Connor Hospital in the Medical/Surgery Department and, eventually, as head nurse on the Oncology Unit for 10 years.
She was fortunate to attend the International Women’s Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1985 and Beijing, China, in 1995.
After retiring from the hospital in 2015, Patrice, having been blessed with amazing good health and energy, was able to continue her national and international work, using her nursing and counseling skills.
She went to Haiti after their earthquake and, again, with the cholera outbreak. In 2016, she went to El Paso, Texas, to work at the border and then to San Diego/Tijuana in 2019 to work with the asylum seekers. She often said, “How could I not respond when a request is made when I have been given so much.”
When asked what she did for fun, she said, “There are not enough hours in the day to do all I want to do and to be with all the friends I want to be with.” I love to learn and experience new things, to work in the garden, go to movies, the theater, watch basketball games (Warriors), go out to dinner, cook and, of course, eat.”