Sister Patricia Friel died on September 10, 2022, at Saint Joseph Villa. Born in Tacony , Sister Patricia Friel was the youngest of three children. John and Elizabeth, her older siblings, have predeceased her. William, her father, was the vice president of a trucking service and spent long hours at his employment often arriving home around midnight. Another childhood memory was her summer at Wildwood and a week in the Poconos. Sister Patricia Friel loved and played in neighborhood sports and found it fitting that, being short of stature, she often played the short stop position.
Pat loved to help the sisters at St. Leo’s School. Her sponsors were her fourth grade teacher, Sr. Agnes Clare, and Mother Victorine, the superior during Pat’s grade school years. Sure of her vocation, Pat entered the community the September after her high school graduation.
Although she taught elementary school in her initial years, her love and skill in French sent her to graduate studies at Millersville and teaching the language in high school. Her recollections of 11 years at Little Flower were original and creative activities undertaken by the principal, Msgr. H. Glenn Bennett. However, Pat’s most exciting and challenging years were spent at Archbishop Ryan High School. Missioned there for 31 years, she began her tenure as a French teacher and then became the assistant disciplinarian, and eventually moved into the guidance office. In this last role, she enjoyed the interviews with the students because they were from the best and the brightest in the school. Pat’s ability to listen to the students’ music and engage them in talk of sports allowed her to establish a strong rapport and comfortable relationship with them.
Vatican II introduced a freedom to travel for many sisters, and Pat was at the top of the list. One of her funniest memories, filling the car on a snow holiday and taking the sisters to the movies. Pat loved to drive anywhere, and in any weather, and her local community appreciated that talent. Pat’s final journey has led her to the Father.
Pat describes comfort in talking to God internally or aloud throughout her day. This has sustained her during the long months of isolation. Her journey has come to an end and the Father awaits her in Paradise.