Sister Mary Patricia Watson

Sister Mary Patricia Watson entered eternal life on April 18, 2024 at Saint Joseph Villa, Flourtown, Pennsylvania.   Her Funeral Mass was offered at Saint Joseph Villa on April 23, 2024–which is also the anniversary of her reception of the habit of the Sisters of Saint Joseph!

Mary Pat was born in Philadelphia to Mary Anne Meehan and Martin Watson.  Due to the potato famine, Mary Pat’s mother had emigrated from Ireland to the United States when she was nineteen years old.  She met Martin who was an experienced bricklayer for the Ford Motor Company.  The Watson family lived in the Frankford section of Philadelphia.  Mary Pat was baptized and began school at Saint Joachim’s Parish.  They later moved to the Northeast section of the city and Mary Pat went to Saint Hubert High School.

Mary Pat’s father had described her with the words:  “Our Pat doesn’t have a lazy bone in her body.”  Her life certainly gave evidence to that statement.  After graduating from high school Mary Pat worked as a nurse’s aide at Nazareth Hospital.  She had considered entering the religious community who staffed the hospital, but her pastor suggested that the Sisters of Saint Joseph would be a better match for her.

She entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph at Chestnut Hill and began her initial formation in religious life and  training  for ministry .  When she received the habit of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, she received the religious name Sister Miriam Patricia.  She graduated from Chestnut Hill College and received her Master’s degree from Seton Hall University.

Sister Mary Pat’s ministry of more than forty years in Education brought her to schools in cities and in   suburbs in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and North Carolina.  She loved teaching and she enjoyed preparing students for musical programs.  She was involved in programs for the lighting of the Christmas tree at City Hall in Philadelphia and also welcoming visitors at the airport in Philadelphia.

She answered another call in life when she requested a leave of absence to care for her mother in her last illness.  Loyal to her Irish roots, Sister Mary Pat returned to Ireland a number of times with her family.  A special trip was one with her mother who hadn’t seen her brothers and sisters since she had left Ireland at nineteen years of age.

Another special trip brought Sister Mary Pat and a group of pilgrims from New York to Medjugorje.  According to Mary Pat, the experience of the apparition lasting for twenty-five minutes while pilgrims sang Hail Holy Queen in many different languages changed  her life forever.

Sister Mary Pat’s father summed it up well—she was forever reaching out to do good for others.

We will miss her, but we know she enjoys eternal life in the loving arms of our God