FitzpatrickBorn and raised in Houlton, Maine, Sr. Anne Fitzpatrick ’64 has been a Sister of Mercy for 53 years. Her father worked at Madigan Hospital, which was sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, so she knew many of the nuns as a child. She says her father would fix the nuns’ rosary beads for them, and when she entered the convent, he presented her a pair of pliers.

After she graduated from Saint Joseph’s College, Sr. Fitzpatrick taught in both junior high and high school. She subsequently earned a master’s degree in Scripture studies from Providence College, which led her to becoming the director of religious education for the Diocese of Portland. In 1980 at the age of 39, Sr. Fitzpatrick was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Now unable to use her arms or legs, she propels her power chair by use of her breath. She uses a voice-activated computer as a way to search the Internet and keep in contact with friends and family – and she has discovered both Skype and Facebook. She states, “I am unusually blessed to continue to have my mind and heart.”

Sr. Fitzpatrick’s ministry is prayer for others, and she enjoys preparing prayers for residents of Saint Joseph’s Manor in Portland, Maine, where she lives. She also conducts a women’s spirituality group at the nursing home and recently received the Remember ME Award from the State of Maine in recognition for her ministry and kindness with the nursing home residents. She attended the award ceremony at the Hall of Flags at the Statehouse in Augusta.

Sr. Fitzpatrick radiates an incredible spirit of joy and Mercy hospitality to all who come into contact with her. As she herself says, “I am discovering anew every day that God gives us what we need in every moment and situation.” Indeed, some quotes that she lives her life by are “Joy is the echo of God’s life in us” and “To live is holy, to be is a blessing.”

In anticipation of the college’s Centennial celebration, I invited Sr. Fitzpatrick to write a prayer to honor our 100 years as a Mercy institution. The prayer was then designed as a bookmark that has been distributed to the campus community, as well as at Centennial events throughout the year.

Sr. Anne Fitzpatrick ’64, RSM, has written a Centennial prayer for the college:

God of infinite mercy,
God of love,
we celebrate 100 years
with gratitude and joy.
We thank you
for Sisters of Mercy
with founding vision and
continuing presence;
for administration with
wisdom and insight;
for educators with
knowledge and compassion;
for students with
open minds and enthusiasm;
for our campus support staff’s
generous hearts and spirits.
We praise and give You thanks
for these and all Your blessings
and we ask in Jesus’ name
Your continued guidance
for what is to come.

Article by Sr. Kathleen Sullivan, RSM

Vice President for Mission Integration & Sponsorship