Sister Patricia Burke, CSC
(Sister M. Loyola)
Birth: August 10, 1920
Profession: February 2, 1942
Death: February 7, 2017
In honor and celebration of Sister Patricia, we share her story.
Sister Patricia Burke 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 Mbarara, 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.”
May Sister Patricia rest in peace.
Written by Sisters of the Holy Cross
Memorial contrbutions may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Cross Ministry With the Poor Fund, Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, IN 46556