Home » Blog » Looking at the life and ministry of Sister Miriam Patrice Donoghue

Looking at the life and ministry of Sister Miriam Patrice Donoghue

Taken in 1986, this photo features Sister Miriam Patrice Donoghue (center) with the Rev. John Salzman (right) and Father Gerard Ellespermann (left).

Recently Groton, Mass., resident Tom Gaudet contacted the Archives Department to discuss Sister Miriam Patrice Donoghue.

“Sister Miriam Patrice was my sixth grade teacher at Cheverus School in Malden, Mass.,” Tom said “I remember her so fondly for being kind, gentle, funny and also a great boost to my own confidence as a young student.

“I would sure love to see her featured on the blog,” Tom continued.

Well Tom, your desire is our wish.

Catherine Irene Donoghue was born on Oct. 3, 1904, in Malden, Mass., to Jeremiah Donoghue and Catherine Carroll Donoghue.

She entered the Congregation on June 4, 1925, and was given the name Sister Miriam Patrice.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Sister Miriam Patrice taught for more than 50 years in schools in Indiana, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts and Maryland, mainly educating eighth grade boys during that span.

Sister Miriam Patrice ministered as principal at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Village School from 1956-60, and also as principal at St. Clement School, located in Lansdowne, Md., from 1968-69.

In the commentary for her obituary, Sister Desiree Trainer (RIP) stated, “She was an excellent teacher, strict but sprinkling discipline with a dollop of wry humor.

An undated photo of Sister Miriam Patrice Donoghue.

“A sister friend remembers that Miriam taught her how to teach. She had taken all the Ed courses, but Miriam was her book,” Sister Desiree continued.

While she officially retired from teaching in 1976, Sister Miriam Patrice did not return to the Motherhouse until 1987, as she spent some time ministering as a substitute teacher and cared for an elder sister for a handful of years.

According to commentary, Sister Miriam Patrice was fond of watching sports on television.

“Her comments to the players and sundry indicated that she would have been a good umpire, coach or manager,” Sister Desiree stated.

Sister Miriam Patrice’s sibling, Sister Agnes Margaret, also entered the Congregation, and her niece, Sister Betty Donoghue continues in ministry at the Motherhouse.

Sister Miriam Patrice died on July 4, 1989. She was 84 years old and had been a Sister of Providence for 64 years.

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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.

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1 Comment

  1. Tom Gaudet on December 16, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Thanks so much for this walk down memory lane. Sister Miriam Patrice helped me to believe in my own abilities and I have never forgotten her for it.I will always remember the day she announced to me, in front of the class, that I would write an editorial on the Resurrection for the Spring edition of the class newspaper. I almost fell off my chair! But write it I did. Of course, I don’t remember what I wrote, but I do remember she liked it and was full of compliments! I could not agree more with the description: …”strict, but sprinkling discipline with a dollop of wry humor.” But she was also someone who recognized when a student needed extra praise, and was generous in doling it out.

    May she rest in peace.

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