Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of August 23, 1999
Sister has surprise for brother
By SR. ELIZABETH FITZGERALD
Special to the WCR
Feb. 21, 1921. "Don't cry, Sis. You'll be home again in a few weeks and we'll all be out to meet you and celebrate with you."
So said Jim Barry as he drove his sister Patricia to the station.
She was leaving her loved ones and her home in Ireland to join the sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus at their novitiate in England.
Jim didn't think she'd last there very long.
If he were still alive, he'd be surprised at the length of time she's lasted. On Aug. 15, Sister Patricia Barry celebrated the 75th anniversary of the profession of her vows as an FCJ.
Like other women who wanted to become Faithful Companions of Jesus, Patricia signed a paper promising to go anywhere in the world where her leaders thought she could work effectively for God's glory and the good of God's people.
In September 1926, she came to Canada to take up her first assignment at St. Mary's Girls High School in Calgary where she remained for 20 years.
From there, she went to Edmonton where she was principal of Grandin High School for many years.
Six years after retiring, she moved to Lethbridge where she helped in the parish, especially with the sick and elderly and the disadvantaged.
Now she is back in Calgary where she brightens the lives of all she meets.
What would Sister Patricia say to young people today who may be thinking of committing themselves as priests or religious?
"I've been happy in community all these years knowing that I've been in the service of the Church and giving my best to God," she says.
Other FCJs who celebrated a special anniversary in Calgary this year are Sister Philomena Feist, 70 years professed on July 31, and Sister Gertrude Buss, who marked 65 years of vows on April 4.
Sister Philomena taught in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge and now lives in Edmonton.
Sister Gertrude spent many years at school in Calgary and Lethbridge and, after retiring, used her skills in library science in Toronto and at the FCJ Christian Life Centre in Calgary.
All three continue to remember their past pupils and friends in prayer, are keenly interested in all that is going on in our world and bring joy to those around them.