"The greater the work the more
important it is to establish it on
a solid foundation. Thus it will
not only be more perfect; it
will also be more lasting.”

St. Louise de Marillac

 A Day in the Life of S. Patrice Vales

In celebration of Catholic Sisters Week, five Sisters of Charity gave us a glimpse into their extraordinary lives of charity. From serving children with special needs on the U.S./Mexico border to ministering to seniors at an assisted living facility in northern Ohio, our Sisters provide a loving, compassionate presence to all they encounter. The following article features a day in the life of S. Patrice Vales.

I retired in 2005 from teaching and pastoral work at St. Albert the Great in Kettering, Ohio. I spent a year deciding what I’d like to do in retirement and came to Cincinnati on June 6, 2006 to begin my retired ministry.

On this morning I awake, eat my breakfast (I need to do this to be fully awake!) and give my full attention to God as I begin my prayer. Morning prayer consists of the psalms, meditating and centering on the Gospel of the day as a way to fulfill our mission. I say goodbye to my cat and head to the Motherhouse.  

Throughout the week I focus my days around Scripture reading, Eucharist and service. It is always a pleasure and a privilege to be of service to my Sisters and the Community. I have been volunteering at the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse for almost 17 years. I call myself a floater, helping congregational offices and Sisters living or ministering at the Motherhouse in any way desired. If there’s a need, I’m happy to help.

On this particular day, I report to the Communications Office to help mail our congregation’s biweekly newsletter. With the assistance of S. Mary Kormanec, we prepare the physical copies for distribution.

On Thursdays (as well as Tuesdays and Saturdays) I attend liturgy at the Motherhouse. This is important to me because it’s time to pray with my Sisters. Even though I live off campus, I spend a large part of my day at the Motherhouse and appreciate the interactions and opportunities to be in community together.

On days I am volunteering at the Motherhouse I eat lunch in the Dining Room. I enjoy being with the Sisters in this time of relaxation and recreation. I mingle amongst the various tables and spend time hearing about their days and lives.

Weekly I volunteer in the SC Archives, a ministry I have been involved with since the pandemic began. My work there includes indexing issues of Intercom magazine. I work on the index in between other projects, such as decorating the Dining Room for special congregational celebrations at the Motherhouse and serving on a variety of committees, including the Environment Committee and the Earth Justice Circle.

I try to leave the Motherhouse by 3 p.m. each day. I return home and greet my cat. We sit down and I have a cup of tea while he crawls on my lap. I read the mail, a book, and pray before dinner. After dinner I relax by either listening to Classical music, reading, watching a basketball game (which I love), or exercising my mind with a crossword puzzle.

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