Sister Patricia Burke died at Saint Mary’s Convent having lived a full life as a missionary
Sister of the Holy Cross, nurse and anesthetist. She recently celebrated the 75th anniversary of her initial profession of vows. Sister Patricia nursed on three continents: North America, Asia and Africa. She served 19 years in Catholic hospitals in the United States in Salt Lake City, Utah; Boise, Idaho; and San Fernando and Fresno, California; nearly eight years in East Pakistan (Bangladesh); and 22 years in Uganda. The Sisters of the Holy Cross in Uganda, currently observing the golden jubilee of their mission, consider Sister Patricia one of their founding members.
Of East Africa she wrote, “From 1968 to 1986, I experienced two civil wars, seven presidents and two military governments.” Despite the civil strife, she and the other sisters and laity were able to set up clinics and hospitals in Fort Portal, Bugomba and Mbarra, dispensing the most basic healthcare when “surgical operations were done by sunlight or at night by kerosene lantern or flashlight.” Back in her home country, though retired, Sister Pat continued to hold high the lantern for her beloved “Pearl of Africa.”
Please join us in prayer for Sister as we renew our faith in the resurrected Jesus and strengthen our hope that all the departed will be raised to eternal life. May Sister Patricia rest in peace.
Funeral services will be Wednesday, February 15, in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto, St. Mary's, Notre Dame, Indiana. The reception of the body and wake will be at 10:30 a.m. and the Mass of the Resurrection at 1:30 p.m.