Sister Patricia Satterthwaite (1926 – 2016)

Patricia Satterthwaite SGS

Patricia Satterthwaite SGS

Patricia Mary Satterthwaite was born on August 25, 1926 at Waverly NSW, the eldest child of Favel and Mabel (nee Stevens) Satterthwaite. The younger children were John (to become Bishop of Lismore) and Joan. Both parents were born in NSW, Favel at Cobar and Mabel at Pyrmont, Sydney.

Favel was a civil engineer and for the first two years of Patricia’s life he worked on irrigation for the Murray River and then as shire engineer at Ashford, near the border of Queensland and NSW.

Patricia started school at Ashford Public School and in Grade 5 transferred to St Scholastica’s at Glebe Point where her mother was a past pupil. Her grandmother had been educated by the Good Samaritan Sisters at Pitt Street.

Patricia was fortunate to have Sisters Clare Slattery and Philomena Gallagher as her teachers in her senior years. She continued at St Scholastica’s to complete her secondary education in 1942 and was awarded a scholarship to Sydney University.

In 1945 Patricia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and then did the NSW Training Course for the Public Library of NSW. She worked at the Mitchell Library until she decided to enter the Sisters of the Good Samaritan. Her home parish at this time was Forest Lodge.

At 24 years of age, Patricia entered the Good Samaritan Novitiate at Mount St Benedict’s Pennant Hills on July 2, 1951 and was given the name Sister Mary Scholastica. She made her first profession of vows on January 6, 1954. Later, when given the opportunity, she reverted to her baptismal name and was known as Sister Patricia.

After teacher training at St Scholastica’s Teachers’ College, Patricia taught primary students and had some secondary classes for two years at Marrickville. She then taught secondary students in Queensland at Lourdes Hill (1957-64), in Victoria at Hamilton in 1965, and then at the new St Monica’s College at Epping (1966-1972).

From 1973 to 1975 Patricia served the College as librarian. At that time she began part-time study in theology and was to go on and study in areas of interest, which included business law at Preston Tech, legal studies at La Trobe University and church history at United Faculty of Theology Melbourne.

In 1976 Patricia studied theology at Mater Dei Institute Manly. Returning to Victoria in 1977 as assistant librarian at Santa Maria College, she also taught ESL. From 1983 Patricia lived at Thornbury, but continued her library and ESL work at Santa Maria until 1987.

After a spiritual renewal program at Baulkham Hills, she ministered in adult literacy classes at Mt Druitt and lived at Windsor, NSW, until 1992. For the next four years in Moruya she continued with adult literacy and parish visitation.

Moving to Whyalla Stuart in 1996, Patricia was again involved in parish visitation until being asked to be assistant librarian at Mt St Benedict Centre Pennant Hills. Her scholarship inspired those who came to the library during the years she was at the Centre.

Patricia’s great love of learning throughout her life, her fidelity to the Gospel and her love of Saints Benedict and Scholastica had a profound influence on her life and her outreach to others. She encouraged and supported with great kindness and respect, many Good Samaritan Sisters, her family, colleagues and students, especially those who were new to this country and needed a patient and understanding teacher.

Patricia moved back to Melbourne in 2007 to retirement at Marian House Northcote until, with failing health and in need of more care, she graciously made the decision to move to Villa Maria Bundoora in November 2010.

Patricia died peacefully on May 20, 2016 after a short illness. She is survived by her sister Joan and family, and remembered with love, respect and gratitude by all her Good Samaritan Sisters.