Sister Pat was one in a million and will be greatly missed by all; we are better for having her in our lives.
Sister Patricia McGowan (Sister Kathleen Mary) was born June 5, 1939, in Manhattan, one of four children —three daughters and one son— of Cormac and Anna Gannon McGowan. Patricia attended Ascension Elementary and Cathedral High Schools, both in Manhattan, before entering the Sisters of Charity of New York on September 8, 1956.
Sister Patricia received a BA in Art from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Bronx, an MSED in Education from Hunter College, an MA in Journalism from New York University, and a MED and EDD in Higher and Adult Education from Teachers College of Columbia University.
Sister Patricia’s sixty years of ministry have been in the field of education. She spent twenty-one years in elementary education serving at Saint Brigid and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, both in Manhattan; Our Lady of Mercy, Port Chester; and Our Lady of Angels, Bronx. After a year of full-time studies, Sister Patricia began thirty-eight years of ministry at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. During these years, she was a teacher of Journalism, Professor, and Chairperson in the Department of Communications and directed the internship program for the Department.
A well-loved member of the CMSV faculty, she was awarded the Sears-Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award by the College in 1991. Her positive influence on faculty and hundreds of students for whom she was mentor is revealed in the comment, “Sister Pat was one in a million and will be greatly missed by all; we are better for having her in our lives.” Her influence also inspired some CMSV staff and former students to ask her to sponsor them in the Associate Program of the Sisters of Charity.
Sister Patricia always found the time to offer her gifts and knowledge within the Congregation. For many years, she served on the Advisory Board of Vision, the Congregation’s quarterly publication. Her honed interviewing skills enabled her to gather facts and “flavor” to write an inspiring impression of a person’s well-lived life. Her research and description of selected aspects of the last twenty years (1997–2017) of the Congregation’s two hundred years of ministry can be found in chapters of a soon-to-be-released history.
Sister Patricia’s generous nature made her a committed volunteer at the Information desk of Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers, and at a safe house for women recently released from the net of human trafficking. An outstanding English teacher, she helped several of the residents pass their GED exam to move on to a brighter future. And she always had time for family, whether nearby or at a distance; in-laws, nieces, nephews, and the next generation knew her love and concern.
For relaxation, Sister Patricia could be found reading or doing crossword puzzles. She had a witty sense of humor that she often used to describe situations for the amusement of others. A passion balanced this ability, insisting that the “right” be respected in any circumstance.
Rest in peace, Sister Patricia McGowan, Professor Emerita. We rejoice as you meet your God “face to face” and enjoy eternal happiness with the One whom you served so well as a Sister of Charity for sixty-four years.
Date of Death
April 19, 2020
Prayer Service and Memorial Mass
to be held at a later date
St. Joseph Cemetery, Yonkers, NY
Archdiocese of New York
- St. Brigid, Manhattan
1959, Teacher, Gr. 4
- Our Lady of Mercy, Port Chester
1959–65, Teacher, Gr. 2, 3
- Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Manhattan
1965–71, Teacher, Gr. 5–8
- Our Lady of Angels, Bronx
1971–80, Teacher, 7–8
- College of Mount Saint Vincent, Bronx
1981–87, Professor, Journalism
1987–96, Professor, Chairperson, Comm. Dept.
1996–2009, Professor, Comm. Dept.
2009–19, Professor, Part-time