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Patricia Mahoney

List of deceased Sisters

Date of death 07/10/2013

Sr Patricia Mahoney smsm
March 8th, 1934 - October 7th 2013

Patricia Mahoney was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 1934, the only child of Helen Augustine Sullivan and Patrick Joseph Mahoney.

After graduation from the Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth, Patricia entered the Marist Missionary Sisters in Bedford, Massachusetts on July 31st, 1951. Since she was not yet 18 when the rest of her group entered the novitiate, Pat had to wait to be received as a novice until March 9th 1952, and took the name “Sr Mary Helena”. She made her first vows with the others on February 2nd, 1954.

After a time of community service on Isabella Street in Boston, Sister was sent to the Catherine Laboure School of Nursing in Dorchester, Massachusetts. After graduating as a Registered Nurse, she was missioned to the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea in 1959 where she served as a Maternal and Child Health nurse.

In 1965, Sr Pat returned to the USA to make her Second Novitiate in Bedford. She was then sent to Australia to do a one-year Midwifery course before returning to Bougainville. From 1967 to 1970 she served as a nurse and tutor at Tearouki, then served as a nurse in Monoitu. From 1970 to ’72 she worked at Killara Hospital in Australia, which was a TB hospital run by the SMSM.

In March 1973, Sister returned to the USA and was able to care for her dying mother in the hospital. Afterwards she came to “62 Newton St” and nursed Sr Monique Hazebrouck during her last illness.

Sr Patricia was missioned to Jamaica in November 1973 and served there for nearly 5 years doing Health and Nutrition Education. Returning to the USA in 1978, she gave community service at Lexington, and later became a Staff Nurse at Maristhill Nursing Home in Waltham.

In 1980 and ’81 Sr Patricia served in Memphis, Tennessee as Coordinator of the Adolescent Pregnancy Program. In Memphis she also studied the Ovulation Method of Natural Family Planning and became a certified instructor.

Returning to Bougainville in December 1981, Sr Pat was stationed first at Kieta, then in Port Moresby as the Natural Family Planning Director. From 1983-86 she was back in Kieta as the Coordinator of the Family Life Center. In 1987 she went to Sydney, Australia, where she worked at the Office of the Families of Australia Foundation, and later at the Hospice of the Sacred Heart at Darling Point. She also volunteered as an English language tutor for new immigrants.

In 1988, Sr Patricia transferred to the North American Province and, after a time of renewal, became the community nurse at “62”. While living at Belmont, she also did a correspondence course with St Joseph’s College in Maine, and obtained her B.Sc. in Nursing in 1994. Over the next few years Pat had 2 knee surgeries, but she kept up her dedication to teaching English as a Second Language – for a time with Sudanese refugees in Memphis (1995), then back in Waltham.

In 1999 an opportunity arose for a collaborative ministry with the Marist Fathers in Waco, Texas, and Sr Patricia was happy to be part of that team together with Sr Mary Philothea. Sr Pat served at the Caritas Food Bank Office and later at the Office for Health and Human Services. She also tutored students in English at the McLennan Community College.

When the Waco mission closed in 2001, Sr Patricia returned to Waltham and took up a new challenge: becoming the Program Facilitator for “Skills for Life”, which offers computer training to low income residents of the Waltham area. She also continued taking ESL students right up until the time she moved to the Marillac Residence in 2008. During the past year she was in the nursing home section, Elizabeth Seton Residence, where she died early in the morning of October 7th.

Sr Patricia had a tremendous zeal for mission. She was devoted to helping people in any way she could, despite her failing health over many years. She formed some deep friendships with people in different parts of the world, and many students are grateful for all she shared with them.

She suffered greatly in recent years – physically, emotionally and spiritually. We can only rejoice that she is now released from this pain and has come to be greeted by the Lord, “Well done, good and faithful servant… enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Mt 25:21)

In Mary’s Name,

Sr Claire Rheaume smsm, Mission District Leader, North America
Sr Virginia Fornasa smsm, Secretary