SISTER STORY: Sister Patricia Crowley
As a small child, I loved “playing priest” at a little table with some bread on a plate in the middle of the basement of our house. My mother read us the lives of the saints in the car on our long trips to visit Christian Family Movement (CFM) groups throughout the country each summer. I was particularly taken with Therese of Lisieux. My parents also taught us gospel responsibilities to our society and encouraged reflection on the Sunday gospel after Mass each Sunday. At my grammar school, the sisters often talked to us about becoming Sisters and took us on field trips to their motherhouse in Milwaukee.
Life went on and, as I began to know myself as a woman-child, I forgot about all that and found new life in friends both male and female. The former attracted me and with the latter, I joined a clique and life was more than good! I dreamt, at times, of having a large family.
As my high school years with the Benedictines ended, I kept finding myself saddened to leave St. Scholastica. I was haunted by the idea of entering the Benedictine community because I found the women who had been my teachers to be very human and very holy. However, I was dating and decided to follow my parents’ urging to go away to college. That year was good but I only made one really good friend. In April, the night before we were to go home for Easter vacation, we were talking long into the night and my friend shared her plans to enter the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur the following September. As I traveled home by train from Washington D.C., I had plenty of time to think about all this. That haunting invitation kept surfacing and then, I made my decision.
Over the Easter vacation, I went to see Mother Laura Walker, the prioress of the Benedictine Sisters, and made plans to enter their community on September 8th of 1958.
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"I was haunted by the idea of entering the Benedictine community because I found the women who had been my teachers to be very human and very holy. "