Mary Pat Kerrigan, Associate

Mary Pat KerriganI am a “now” kind of person. When I am asked to name the happiest event in my life, I'll probably say now. Memories are fun to think about, but what’s going on right now is the most rewarding.

I'm living at Covenant Village, an assisted living center. The Covenant Church owns it. I, as a Catholic, wondered what it would be like. When settled, I went to the manager to ask if there are any Catholics here, and I told her that I'd be glad to provide any spiritual services they wanted. Now, I have a book group. We are deciding about our next book. We are between Father James Martin and Bishop Barron’s latest books.

This Lent, I asked if anybody would like to gather to reflect on the reading from Luke that is used on Palm Sunday. I thought one or two people would show up. But ten showed up! I planned for a 45-minute session. When 45 minutes were up, I said, “Well, we're finished.” But the people just stayed and stayed. This told me they were hungry for spirituality.

How did I come to the School Sisters of St. Francis? My family home was in Wilmette. I went to Saint Joe’s and had Sister Roy as a seventh-grade teacher. She was a great wisdom figure. I wanted to go to the Aspirancy right after grammar school, but my dad wouldn't let me. Since I lived only blocks away from Mallinckrodt High School, I went to Mallinckrodt. After graduation, I could go to St. Joseph Convent. Once out on mission, I met Sister Frances (now Kate) Brenner. She has been a reliable source of support then and through the years

As a young nun, I had a lot of fun living and working at St. Philomena Parish in Chicago. The time was just after Vatican II. Along with the young faithful parishioners. I had fun implementing the changes Rome called for. I think the School Sisters of St. Francis were lucky to be in that parish.

I eventually moved on. I had trouble finding a teaching job, so being a math teacher, I got a job in banking. I ended my legal contract with the congregation after several years in banking. But it took only a year before I became an associate.

During my banking career, I served on the staff of St. Norbert Parish in Northbrook, Illinois. I enjoyed it and the parish work, with communities and relationships, called me to greater life. This kind of service has always given me great satisfaction, especially now that I'm in an assisted living situation.

I have always participated in the community’s works. I helped with the Associate Relationship for years, and I used my property and acquisitions banking experience to help the sisters figure out the financing for the addition of the Maria Linden wing of St. Joseph Center.

My Area Coordinator is Sister Amy Keneally and Sister Winifred Whelan calls me regularly to find out how I’m doing. I am looking forward to attending Jubilee. Sisters Carole Cierniak and Carole Le Claire will be driving me up to the celebration, and Sister Kate will be sitting with me during the celebration.

What does the future bring? I think that in the future I will reap the harvest of all that I have done. An example is that even though I can no longer attend St. Norbert Parish, some of the Morning Prayer group I initiated tell me it is still going. I know the future is the past brought forward. Whatever I have done is going to live on. Who knows how?

<< Back to Jubilarian list