Home » Blog » Throwback Thursday: A look into the life and ministry of Sister Patricia Clare Beggs

Throwback Thursday: A look into the life and ministry of Sister Patricia Clare Beggs

Sister Patricia Clare Beggs with her father in a photo from 1935.

Recently, the Archives Department received an inquiry from Maureen Dougherty, a resident of Goleta, Calif.

Maureen was hoping to get a chance to read a Throwback Thursday blog regarding Sister Patricia Clare Beggs (RIP), her fourth grade teacher at Holy Redeemer, located in College Park, Md.

Well, Maureen, your wish is our desire.

Mary Virginia Beggs was born on July 25, 1909, in Hammond, Ind., the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Solon Beggs.

She entered the Congregation on Feb. 14, 1931.

Sister Patricia Clare received a bachelor’s degree in English from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and earned a master’s degree in education from Indiana State University.

She was a primary teacher for most of her ministry, including teaching at St. Joan of Arc, St. Joseph and St. John Grade School in Indianapolis; St. Patrick in Terre Haute; Sacred Heart in Evansville; St. John in Fort Wayne; and St. Mary’s in Richmond.

She ministered as Principal at St. Mary’s in Richmond from 1952-56, and at Sacred Heart in Evansville from 1960-65. She also ministered as Principal at Good Shepard in Pacifica, Calif., from 1970-74.

Sister Patricia Clare Beggs with a staff member from health care in a photo taken in 2001.

Sister Patricia Clare also taught in schools in Illinois, Texas, California and Maryland, where she taught Maureen in fourth grade.

In her commentary for Sister Patricia Clare, Sister Ruth Johnson said, “What do we hear when we are called? What do we sense when we respond? How do we realize we are chosen? For Patricia Clare, it was after a dance, one in which she dressed in her best, shined all her jewelry, exercised her feet and her good nature in the best time ever. Enjoyed her friends and the latest dance steps, and yet she admitted to friends the memory was short-lived, the sense of fulfillment, joy, quickly fading. This was not the life she felt called to. The call came, there was a response and a life chosen to live the truth of the Gospel Way began.”

Sister Ruth continued, “Without a doubt, the people who gave their observations and remembrance of Patricia Clare all agreed on her qualities: A firm, loving dedication to the Community, a genuine love for people, a desire to help anyone and anywhere she could, a thirst to know and love her God, and to put the three P’s in process anytime she could: Pray, play and picnics!”

Sister Patricia Clare died on April 28, 2001. She was 91 years old and had been a Sister of Providence for 70 years.

Share this:

Jason Moon

Jason Moon

Jason Moon serves as media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. Previously, he spent more than 16 years in the newspaper industry.

Plan for your future!

Leave the things you value to the people and purposes you value most.

Updated Estate Planning Info. here

Farm Internships!

Are you interested in interning at White Violet Center?

Learn more here


  1. Avatar Maureen Dougherty on October 12, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Thank you so much! My days at Holy Redeemer were sweet. Sister Agatha for three years (oh how I loved her!), then Sister Patricia Clare, who, while the class was singing, walked by my desk and said, “Maureen, you don’t have to!” I was thrilled and could not wait to get home to tell my daddy – he’d been told the same thing when he was little!!
    We moved to New York during fifth grade. Sr. Patricia Clare heard that I’d had surgery and sent me a note wth a holy card which I still have.
    St. Catherine Livers (Sr. Agatha) and I kept in touch for many years until she passed away.
    I sure loved my Sisters of Providence!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.