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Sister Pat Mapes

After finishing high school, Pat Mapes moved to Grayling, MI, where she volunteered at St. Mary Parish. There she came to know S. Mary Ellen Paulson, who invited her to a discernment retreat at Siena Center. Pat was impressed to find sisters working in so many and diverse ministries, and she appreciated how outgoing and friendly they were to her. She decided to explore the Racine Dominicans further.  In 1977 she moved to Racine to enter candidacy, made her first profession in 1981 to become Sister Pat, and professed her final vows in 1986. S. Pat has spent most of her 30+ years of ministry in school – teaching, counseling and serving as principal. She found many joys in working with children and adolescents. Surprises such as the day first grader Robert said he wanted to grow up to be just like her. “You want to be a teacher?” she asked. “No, I want to be a sister,” he replied. And joys such as her years spent teaching and learning from Native American children in Montana.

In 2005 S. Pat entered a new ministry, becoming the Siena Center Coordinator, and she is now discovering a world of newfound joys, the greatest of which is getting to know sisters on a personal level. The Racine Dominican community encourages S. Pat to continue growing in new directions and helps her to uncover her own gifts and talents. She appreciates the justice orientation of the community and the opportunities she has been given to witness directly the struggles of people living in poverty. She treasures her experiences of being welcomed into the lives and cultures of those people. S. Pat would like young women to know that living in community can be very life-giving. You know you’re not alone. You know you can make a difference. And you know you will be challenged to continue growing throughout your life.