Sister Ann Patrick McNulty
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life. …’” (Luke 12:22)
“In the Jerusalem Bible translation, this passage from Saint Luke’s Gospel is given the title ‘Trust in Providence.’ As I reflected on the life of our dear Sister Ann Patrick — Peggy or Aunt Peggy to so many of her relatives here — this passage seemed to capture her relaxed and simple trust in God’s loving Providence. She was a free-spirited person because she placed her trust in God rather than in herself or in things,” said Sister Marie Kevin Tighe in her commentary for Sister Ann Patrick McNulty, who died Nov. 19.
One of six children of Patrick and Ann (Doherty) McNulty, Margaret Cecelia McNulty was born Feb. 25, 1925, in Indianapolis. She attended St. Philip Neri Grade School, Indianapolis, and graduated from Providence Juniorate, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. She entered the Congregation Jan. 7, 1942, and professed first and perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1944, and 1949, respectively. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. From Indiana University she received a master’s degree in education administration and a doctorate in elementary education administration.
Sister Ann Patrick commenced teaching in 1944 at Corpus Christi Grade School, Oklahoma City, Okla. She spent several years in California at St. Joseph, Hawthorne, and St. Elisabeth, Van Nuys. In Indiana, she ministered as either a teacher or principal at St. Charles, Bloomington; St. Susanna, Plainfield; St. Matthew, St. Francis de Sales, St. Philip Neri and Holy Spirit School, Indianapolis. In Indianapolis, Sister Ann Patrick also ministered as a supervisor consultant with the Archdiocesan School Office, as a program manager for the Southeast Multi-Service Center and as the assistant director of the Adult Education Center. She returned to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 2001.
“We began this service by hearing a treatise on Providence from the Gospel of Saint Luke. While Sister Ann Patrick was not given to expounding theological issues in words, her life of self-giving gave convincing evidence that the teachings of Jesus had thoroughly penetrated her soul. She knew how to make God’s love, mercy and justice become an experienced reality in the lives of others. In this way, the face of Providence was made visible,” shared Sister Marie Kevin.
“If students or teachers did not measure up to standard, Sister Ann Patrick had a way of calling forth more from them without putting them down. As one former teacher said, ‘Empowerment was her middle name.’ She would tap the talents of one teacher or student to help another. Sometimes she would walk into a classroom and say, ‘Children, I need your help.’ The students would applaud before they knew the task. Another teacher said of her, ‘She will always be remembered for her sense of humor and vivaciousness,’” continued Sister Marie Kevin.
“We heard in this afternoon’s Gospel reading these words of Jesus, ‘I am telling you not to worry about your life …’ and again, ‘Can any of you, for all her worrying, add a single cubit to her span of life?’ In my 64 years of knowing Sister Ann Patrick, I cannot recall a time when I experienced her in a worrisome state. She was a woman of Providence, and in the difficult moments that were surely a part of her life — as they are a part of every human life — she followed the advice of our holy foundress, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, who said, ‘Let me assure you if you lean with all your weight upon Providence you will find yourself well supported.’ That was Saint Mother Theodore’s way of saying with the Gospel ‘don’t worry,’” said Sister Marie Kevin.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Ann Patrick was celebrated Nov. 25, with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding. She is survived by one sister, Patricia Marbaugh of Indianapolis.
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