Sr. Patricia McCarthy is a member of the Congregation of Notre Dame. For 25 years, she educated the poor, in particular abused children. She taught peace and nonviolence for 17 years in courses, workshops and retreats — in schools, parishes, religious communities and seminaries in nine countries. As an award-winning columnist for the diocesan paper in Providence, Rhode Island, she has published numerous articles and five books. She served a total of 12 years as associate provincial and then as provincial superior for the United States province. She now teaches math at a Catholic school in Waterbury, Connecticut.

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My lesson in gratitude

As a "new nun" at the age of 20, I learned the most important lesson of my life — to say "thank you" to God every night. That lesson has sustained me through many more years of religious life. I learned it from Douglas, a 13-year-old severely challenged boy in a state-run institution.