Sister Patrice McSweeney, MMS
Sr. Patrice was born to American parents who were living in Colombia; the family moved to Venezuela when Sr. Patrice was seven. She finished her schooling in the U.S. and earned her R.N. in 1953. She joined MMS in 1954. Having fallen in love with Venezuela, Sr. Patrice was thrilled to return there for her mission assignment. She lived and worked in Maracaibo, Caripe, Santo Domingo and Barquisimeto for a total of 40 years. She was a staff nurse, a parish worker and cared for a family whose mother suffered from mental illness. Sr. Patrice created a bussing project for children with disabilities and helped transform the community’s view on disability. She faithfully and tenderly nurtured the relationships she had developed in Venezuela until she passed. Sister Patrice earned her B.S.N. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970, followed with a master’s in public health from the University of Puerto Rico and a midwifery certificate. Upon Sr. Patrice’s return to Philadelphia in 1999, she was a parish worker and served on the MMS North America Justice Committee. She volunteered in the Mission Development Center until March 2020. Sr. Patrice was a talented writer and artist and was cherished for her gentle and caring nature, along with her keen wit.
Submitted by Tina Burkholder, Philadelphia