Sister Patricia Nicholson, CSJ (Sister Francis Mary)
Sister Patricia Nicholson, CSJ, (Sister Francis Mary), 71, died Thursday, April 1, 2010, at Via Christi-St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, KS after a brief illness. Sister Patricia had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 52 years.
Sister Patricia was born December 14, 1938 in Syracuse, NY, daughter of the late Francis and Mary Arnold Nicholson. She graduated from Most Holy Rosary High School in Syracuse, entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1958, and professed final vows on August 6, 1965. Sister Patricia received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in special education, both from The College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY. In addition, she received certification in school administration from Fordham University and certification in hospital chaplaincy from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. For 17 years, Sister Patricia taught and served as administrator in schools in the Dioceses of Albany and Syracuse, NY, as well as in the Newtonville (NY) School for the Disabled. In 1978, Sister Patricia began her years of ministry in pastoral care and human resources in hospitals in New York State, California, Arizona, Missouri and Kansas. At the time of her death, Sister Patricia was vice president of mission effectiveness at Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center in Pittsburg, Kansas, a ministry very dear to her heart.
Sister Patricia was a dedicated teacher who worked diligently to help her students realize their strengths and who encouraged and challenged students to learn to overcome disabilities through those strengths. Focusing on teaching the whole child, Sister Patricia used her head and her heart in equal measure throughout the school day. In her service in pastoral care and human resources, she displayed the same holistic approach, bringing professional competence and compassionate presence to administration, employees and patients alike. Sister Patricia was a woman of faith whose vibrancy and zest for life radiated easily to those around her. A devoted Sister of St. Joseph, a faithful family member and friend and a supportive colleague, she will be deeply missed.
Sister Patricia is survived by her beloved family: her brother and sister-in-law, Michael and Linda Nicholson (Minoa, NY); her sisters and brothers-in-law: Debra and Peter Vallar (Liverpool, NY); Susan and Leonard Hite (Camden, NY); and Mary Kay and James Burkett (Syracuse, NY); by several nieces and nephews and their families; by many cousins, friends and colleagues; and by the Sisters of St. Joseph.
For Sister Patricia’s friends and colleagues in Kansas, calling hours were held on Monday, April 5 in the chapel of Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center, Pittsburg, KS. Calling hours at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham, NY, were held Wednesday, April 7. Sister Patricia’s funeral Liturgy was celebrated on Thursday, April 8 in the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham, NY. Interment was in Our Lady Queen of Virgins Cemetery on the Provincial House grounds. Contributions in Sister Patricia’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.