SISTER PATRICIA SCHADE
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.
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:
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:
At the wake, Sister Patricia Spangler said:
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 Loretta Glanz spoke fondly:
Sister Loretta spoke of a song entitled “Friends Are Like Flowers.”
Sister Dolores Slosar said:
Sister Patricia’s funeral liturgy took place on May 11 in St. Catherine Chapel, and she was laid to rest in the Congregational cemetery.