Sister Francis Patrick Burns, CSJ
Sister Francis Patrick Burns, CSJ, 90, died Sunday, June 23, 2013, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham, NY. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 71 years.
Sister Francis Patrick, the former Frances Phoebe Burns, was born in Syracuse, NY, on March 8, 1923, daughter of the late Francis Patrick and Catherine Dunn Burns. After graduating from St. Anthony’s High School, Syracuse, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1942 and professed final vows on August 15, 1947. Sister Francis Patrick received a bachelor’s degree in education from The College of Saint Rose, Albany, and a master’s degree in education from Mount St. Joseph’s College (now Medaille College), Buffalo. She served for 52 years in schools in the Syracuse and Albany Dioceses as teacher and principal, with special mention of 10 years (1947-1957) as teacher at St. Mary’s Institute, Amsterdam, and 24 years (1972-1996) as principal of Our Lady of Solace School in Syracuse. Before she moved to St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Sister Francis had been a parish minister for 15 years (1996-2011) in St. Daniel’s Parish, Syracuse.
Sister Francis Patrick was an excellent educator and a well-respected administrator. Her prodigious work ethic, combined with her sense of humor and her gifts of openness and inclusivity, led to success even in the most challenging of classroom situations. Sister Francis Patrick’s kind, giving and sensitive nature engendered an innate responsiveness to people in need during her years as a parish minister. She joyfully embraced her call as a Sister of St. Joseph to bring God’s reconciling love to all she met. Sister Francis Patrick was a beloved family member, a devoted Sister of St. Joseph and a faithful friend who leaves us a legacy of generosity and selfless dedication to others.
Sister Francis Patrick is survived by several nieces and nephews and their families, including Katherine Kane who was raised as the youngest sibling; by many friends; and by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by four brothers: William Merritt, Herbert Burns, Robert Burns, and Frank Burns; by seven sisters: Mary Catherine Burns (infant), Elizabeth Burns, Sister Mary Catherine (Patricia) Burns, OSF, Catherine Burns, Mary Anne Burns, Shirley Murphy and Nancy Cayer; and by many dear friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Francis Patrick’s funeral Liturgy was held on Friday, June 28, at 10:30 a.m. from the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Interment was in Our Lady Queen of Virgins Cemetery on the Provincial House grounds. Contributions in Sister Francis Patrick’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.