In Memory

Sister Patricia Burke, IHM

February 26, 1920 – November 16, 2006

Patricia Burke, IHM

Sister Patricia Burke, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. Padraic) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Thursday, November 16, 2006 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on February 26, 1920, in Pittsburgh, PA, and was the daughter of the late Patrick and Anna Tunney Burke. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1938, made temporary profession of her vows on May 8, 1941, and final profession of her vows on August 1, 1944.

Sister Patricia served as a teacher at the following schools: Most Holy Rosary Elementary School in Syracuse, NY, from 1941 to 1951; St. Rose High School in Carbondale, from 1951 to 1955; Marywood Seminary in Scranton, from 1955 to 1958 and 1970 to 1971; Kingston Central Catholic High School in Kingston, from 1958 to 1961; and St. Mary High School in Manhasset, NY, from 1961 to 1966.

Sister served as principal at St. John the Evangelist High School in Pittston, PA, from 1966 to 1968, and at St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay, NY, from 1968 to 1970. She served as a guidance counselor at Sacred Heart High School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1984 to 1989, and Oakland Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1989 to 1991.

At Marywood College in Scranton, PA, Sister Patricia served on the faculty at in the Classics Department from 1971 to 1980, and then as Director of the Counseling Center from 1980 to 1984.

Sister also served as director of Religious Education at St. Rosalia Parish in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1991 to 1999.

From 1999 until the time of her death, Sister Patricia served as a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and at Our Lady of Peace Residence, both in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor’s degree and three Master’s degrees from Marywood College, as well as a Master’s degree from Villanova University.

She was preceded in death by a brother, James and three sisters, Katherine Fralic, Mary Burke, and Virginia Bernarding.

She is survived by two sisters, Anne Burke and Helen Finegan, both of Pittsburgh PA, nephews and nieces, grandnieces and grandnephews.

The funeral will be Monday, November 20, at 10:30 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton, followed by interment at St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton, on Sunday, November 19, between 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired IHM Sisters c/o the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.

Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Spring 2007 issue

Sr. Patricia was born in Pittsburgh, attended both grade and high school at St. Rosalia’s and entered the congregation on September 8, 1938.

As a teacher, her professional and spiritual influence on youth and young adults enabled them to maintain a greater love for life and deeper faith. She was an exemplary religious, loved her family, community and friends. Her devotion to our Blessed Mother, and her patron, Saint Patrick was instilled into the students she taught and all with whom she came in contact.

Sr. Patricia enjoyed dancing, fun and laughter, as well as sports. She was captivated watching her grandnephew, Mark Bulger, a quarterback with the St. Louis Rams.

She always welcomed opportunities for fun and laughter. While I was at St. Rosalia’s teaching CCD, Sr. Patricia asked me to have my class do the readings for the next school mass. We assembled in the church for practice, after which we were instructed to have the secretary turn off the lights and lock the door. After returning to the classroom I began my lesson with a review question, “Who wrote the gospels?” Hands flew up. In an instant, Sr. Pat arrived at the door, hastily rushed to the window, and seeing the lights still on in the church, asked, “Who’s over in the church?” (It was evident the secretary hadn’t turned off the lights). The child I had pointed to, responded “Four men.” Sr. Pat repeated, “Four men?” Yes, the girl replied, “Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.” Sr. Patricia and all laughed heartily.

Sister entered into eternal life, November 16. Lord, rest her soul. She is missed.

by Sr. M. Rosalian Armbruster, IHM

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