Sister Patricia Bates

Sister Patricia BatesSister Pat Bates is a woman with an awesome balance of fun, creativity, humor, deep faith, and compassion. Over the 75 years she has lived as a School Sister of St.  Francis, Pat has lived a very rich life and has shared her life with many people. And as one woman in formation said, “She’s like an old slipper – so easy to be with.”

One might say that Pat is a member of several families: her own family, the community, and the education and healthcare communities. Pat’s own family included her parents, seven sisters, and two brothers; Pat was the third youngest.

She enjoyed her childhood and her school life, starting the first four years in a one-room school, then in a Catholic school taught by the Springfield Dominicans. She met the School Sisters of St. Francis in high school at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Aurora, Illinois, and she entered the convent in her sophomore year.

She studied at Alverno College and became a teacher in the education family. Her first mission was Buffalo Grove, Illinois, where she taught in the primary school. “I loved the children and their parents,” she said. “It was my favorite place of teaching.”

After receiving her degree in counseling, Pat set up programs for counseling children in two Catholic schools in Chicago. She also used her counseling skills in hospital ministry, both in Chicago and New York.

When the community called her, twice, to the ministry of working with women interested in joining the community, Pat put her heart and soul into working with these women. She found it challenging and at the same time very enriching, and was heard to say, “There they go. I’m their leader. I have to catch up with them.” The Formation Team found that there was a need for a central place for women to come and learn about religious life, as well as a place for the women in formation, and they created a life center using St. Irene’s Convent in Warrenville, Illinois.

Pat was a good listener, a compassionate person, and a wonderful team member.  After her years serving on the Provincial Leadership Team, Pat became the personal coordinator for our retired sisters at Maryhill Convent. Pat, with other sisters, studied the government PACE program and found that our retired sisters would greatly benefit through participating in this program.  She then was very instrumental in the development of the Community Care PACE program for the community at Sacred Heart, and in her retirement, she reaped those benefits and often said, “We receive such good care.”

Sister Pat, we thank you for sharing your wonderful, rich life with us as a School Sister of St. Francis for 75 years!

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