Sister Patricia Bergan, is the 2009 Dorothy Day Award recipient. As most know, Dorothy Day devoted most of her adult life to ministering to the poor and marginalized while sowing the seeds of change in the Church by founding the Catholic Worker Movement.
Pat Bergan, like Dorothy Day, has had an adult life of ministering to others. After graduating from Oswego State with an elementary education degree, Helen Bergan took the vows of devotion to the Franciscan Sisters and took the name of "Patricia" (" a pretty good name and one that had not yet been taken", say Pat). As a nurses aid at Mercy Hospital while in High School, Pat was first influenced by the work of the sisters . "I knew there was a place for me in ministry." This began a life of tending to the needs of others.
Pat ministered to the needs of youth and adults in the diocese as the director of religious education, teaching others to always accept people for who they are, never judging anyone. She visited the elderly and sick, those on the border, those forgotten as the Parish Associate at St Andrews. She heard their stories, heard their confessions, provided support and just listened. Listening, remembering names, birthdays, events, absences from Church these were some of the characteristics of Pat's unique way. She is a "people person" and finds joy in others.
And now, as the Parish Associate at St Lucy's, Pat is thriving.
"This has been a good fit for me," Pat says of her new position at St Lucy's. Serving those at the Food Pantry or at the soup kitchen, Pat is again working with those who are most forgotten by our society. She likes the "hands on" nature of her new ministry, both working and living with people on the near West side. Her new home is a modest apartment on Gifford St. Her new neighbors like Pat. She brings them good luck!