January 17, 2011

EDMONTON — Patricia Sirois was one of the first members of the secular institute Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate and served for decades as a public health nurse in many parts of Alberta. She died Dec. 27 at age 93.

Born in Maine, Sirois worked for years in hospitals in the northeastern United States before joining the recently-founded secular institute with her sister Teresa in 1952 in Grand Falls, N.B.

Living the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as an Oblate, she served in several health care institutions in northern Quebec and the Magdalen Islands for six years.

Logo - Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate

In 1958, Sirois came with another member of the institute to the Metis colony at Paddle Prairie in northern Alberta to be its public health nurse. Her task was to "revive" the settlement`s health clinic, which turned out to be a dilapidated, empty house with "a few medications, half a knife and a bunch of mice."

She spent six years serving the people in Paddle Prairie before taking a course on public health nursing at the University of Alberta. After that, she returned to serve at Wabasca and neighbouring communities for four years.

In 1969, she moved to Wetaskiwin where she served as a public health nurse for 14 years. In that city, the Catholic Women`s League honoured her with a special service award.

After her official retirement, Sirois continued to serve the community and parish in a variety of ways before moving to Edmonton in 1990 to be closer to her Oblate companions.

In Edmonton, she lived her Oblate spirituality first in an apartment and then at St. Andrew`s Centre before spending her final days at Providence Centre.