SISTER PATRICIA SCHADE
1940-2006

It was raining the evening Sister Patricia Schade’s wake was held in Adrian. Sister Patricia died of cancer at Friendship Village Hospice in Tempe, Arizona, and Sister Dolores Slosar said, “In Arizona, we went 150 days without rain. She’d love what we’re having here tonight!”

Sister Dolores also quoted words from Sister Patricia. “Sisters, life is short. Live each day to the fullest, remembering to be what our Heavenly Father has asked us to be to those we come in contact with.” This was part of the advice that she wanted shared with the assembly at her wake, and Sister Dolores brought her words to Adrian.

Patricia was the only child of Robert and Sophia (Wrana) Schade. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 27, 1940. Robert Schade was a photographer, and provided a good life for his wife and child. At Sister Patricia’s wake, Sister Catherine Olds, her Chapter Prioress, described Robert Schade as a gentle, quiet man, and Sophia Schade as a strong, feisty woman.

The family must have moved to Garfield Heights, since records show that Patricia began her education at SS. Peter and Paul School there. In 1948, however, they were back in Cleveland, and Patricia was a student at St. John Nepomucene School. She graduated from eighth grade in 1955.

She started her high school years at St. Joseph Academy in Adrian, but after a year returned to Cleveland and enrolled at Hoban Dominican High School. The idea of becoming an Adrian Dominican Sister had been growing in her mind during her school years, and in her sophomore year, on February 2, 1957, she entered the postulate in Adrian. She finished her high school education at St. Joseph Academy, and received her diploma in June 1958.

On August 6, 1957, she and her group received the habit and their religious names. Until the 1970s, Patricia was known as Sister Robert Patrice. At Sister Patricia’s wake in Adrian, Sister Loretta Glanz remembered those days.

It will be fifty years ago on this coming February 2 that I met Sister Patricia for the first time as we received the postulant’s veil here in Adrian. That is the day our friendship began. We became known as Pius the X crowd … We were a small crowd and some of us were fifteen or still in high school at the time. We found ourselves finishing our high school classes during the postulancy and novitiate.

On visiting Sundays, Pat’s parents and my parents struck up a friendship … Pat had no brothers or sisters, so she always told me she was adopting me as her sister. Our friendship continued to grow during the year before the twenty-four of us received the habit. I always remember Pat during the novitiate. She was kind, caring, and loving. She never let anything get her upset.

The group professed their first vows on August 7, 1958.

For fourteen years after profession, Sister Patricia ministered in the Midwest, teaching for the most part in the middle grades. The first nine years were in Michigan: five years at Holy Angels in Sturgis, two years at St. Andrew in Rochester, and two years at St. Alphonsus in Dearborn. The next six years were in Ohio: four years at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Wickliffe and two years at the school she had herself attended, St. John Nepomucene in Cleveland. During the summers she studied at Siena Heights College (now University) in Adrian, and in 1967, the college conferred a bachelor’s degree upon her with a major in English and minors in French and history.

In 1972, she traveled to the Southwest, and taught for a year at St. Daniel the Prophet School in Scottsdale. At Sister Patricia’s wake, Sister Patricia Spangler said:

In 1972, I went to St. Daniel the Prophet in Scottsdale, Arizona, and shortly Sister Patricia Schade came. Both our names were “Pat” and both of our last names began with “S.” We decided that she would be “Tricia.”

For the year 1973, Sister Patricia Schade served in the Phoenix Diocesan Office as Associate Director on Aging, and the next year for Catholic Charities as Assistant Director for Aging. During her time there she opened a Senior Citizen Drop-in Center. In the summer of 1973, she taught arts and crafts to the sisters and served as a driver at Maria Hall in Adrian.

She began work on a master’s degree in religious education; and, starting in 1975, spent ten years as Director of Religious Education at the Church of the Resurrection in Tempe. The return to Cleveland in 1976 for her father’s funeral brought a period of grief into her life. In 1982, she received her master’s degree from Seattle University in Washington State. Sister Anastasia McNichols sent a fax that was read at Sister Patricia’s wake. She wrote:

I lived with Sister Pat Schade in the mid-seventies in Tempe, Arizona. There were four of us who came from various places and ministries to form a community … We lived in a small but comfortable house on La Rosa Street, so we were called “The La Rosa Street Community.”

Pat’s ministry was teaching arts and crafts at a senior citizen center sponsored by Catholic Charities. She was a natural — very talented, very creative, and very patient. At home, Pat was a great cook, but almost always on some kind of diet!

Pat’s natural artistic talents spilled over into our home where we saw her artistic flair with monthly changes in various arrangements of flowers and knickknacks.

At the wake, Sister Patricia Spangler said:

When I went to Resurrection Parish in Tempe, she had been there for a while and was known as “Sister Pat.” So I became “Sister Mary Pat.” … Incidentally, she helped me get that position at Resurrection. She talked to her pastor and recommended me.

In 1985, Sister Patricia attended Arizona State University as a full-time student, then the next year returned to the Church of the Resurrection as a pastoral minister. In all, she ministered for almost thirty years in Resurrection parish.

She also did some traveling. In her annals for the 1992-93 year, she wrote that a significant event in her life was “spending ten days in Rome, Assisi, Siena, and Florence, and receiving Communion from the Pope on Easter Sunday.” She described her ministry at Resurrection Parish as visiting and taking Communion to the homebound; helping families when death struck; liaison with the widowed group, the retired group, and the women’s group. In 1997, she wrote that she had celebrated her fortieth jubilee with her mother, the parish, and her Mission Group.

In 1999, she was diagnosed with cancer, but she continued to minister as long as she could. On her Annals sheet for 1999-2000, she wrote of her cancer diagnosis, “I found out how much I was loved by so many through their cards, prayers, and Masses offered.” She also wrote, “Life is too short to hold on to things that don’t matter. I choose not to let insignificant things bother me. In this way, my life is simplified.”

In later years, she had been able to spend time with her mother, and to care for her. The year 2005 brought more trauma into her life when her mother, who was in her late nineties, died. At the age of sixty-five, Sister Patricia joined her mother in eternity on May 4, 2006.

On May 8, a wake was held for Sister Patricia in Tempe at the Church of the Resurrection. The assembly included: her cousin Marvin Sylakowski, many of the Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates who minister in the Southwest and West, and many of the people Sister Patricia had served in Resurrection Parish.

Sister Patricia’s wake in Adrian was held on May 10. Sister Catherine Olds, her Chapter Prioress, welcomed those who had gathered in St. Catherine Chapel to bid Sister Patricia goodbye, summarized her life and ministry, and added:

Sister Pat was truly a valiant woman — a sturdy, patient woman. She lived so many years with cancer, yet not letting it take away from her dedication to her ministry.

Pat was a faithful daughter, being there for her mother and taking care of her during her last years before her death.

Pat was a joyful woman, playing with her dogs, then cats — enjoying a good joke on her friends, gathering, with the grace of hospitality, many for dinners and picnics.

Pat was a loving woman, giving and forgiving, ever caring and concerned … She founded a cancer support group, Care Ministry, outreach to many, and left a legacy by training others to carry on after her.

She was a Kingdom woman, close to her God and inviting others to relationship with their God — no matter what their faith. It is a testimony to her that her brother priests came, one after another, throughout this past week to pray and anoint her.

She was a religious community woman, living fully her vows and fully participating in religious life. She also graced the lives of thirteen women of the parish by inviting them to become Adrian Dominican Associates.

Sister Loretta Glanz spoke fondly:

Pat always shared her many hobbies with me — silk screening, sewing creations, and recipes. She loved to cook. I shared some of my computer skills with her.

She loved to travel, to see the beautiful world. She loved to show me the beauties of her state from the Grand Canyon to the Painted Desert. This did not end in Arizona. We were able to visit her cousin in Alaska twice. And, finally, last summer, as sick as she was, she invited three of us to go with her to Hawaii for ten days. We all have beautiful memories of our time spent together.

It has been very hard to see her suffer so much during these past seven years, but especially during this year. The last time I was able to talk with her over the phone was this past Easter Sunday. She shared with me that she had several dreams of her mother calling to her.

Sister Loretta spoke of a song entitled “Friends Are Like Flowers.”

Friends are like flowers, beautiful flowers.
F
riends are like flowers in the garden of life.

Pat has been a beautiful flower in the garden of my life, and she will be greatly missed.

Sister Dolores Slosar said:

The people at the hospice were so good to us. One night they brought in a large tray. She said to me, “These are Snackums.” “Snackums” were cubed cheese and crackers and cookies.

She was such a strong example of positive training, and she said, “Tell the support group that they need to continue, and tell the Associates that the torch I passed on to them needs to be carried. And tell the nuns to get a life.” In spite of her sickness, she lived life to the fullest that she could. At age sixty-five, she graced us with wisdom and kindness.

Sister Patricia’s funeral liturgy took place on May 11 in St. Catherine Chapel, and she was laid to rest in the Congregational cemetery.