Maryknoll, NY — Maryknoll Sister Agnes Patricia Boland, a missioner to Panama, Mexico and the Eastern United States, died June 17, 2015, at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY. She was 86 years old.
Born on February 19, 1929, in White Plains, NY, to Patrick James and Mary Agnes McGuinn Boland, Sister Pat, as she was more commonly known, grew up in Brooklyn, NY, graduating from St. Rose of Lima School, Brooklyn, in 1943, and St. Brendan Diocesan High School, also in Brooklyn, in 1947.
She entered Maryknoll Sisters Congregation at the Venard, Scranton, PA, from St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, Brooklyn, on September 4, 1948, and was given the religious name Sister M. Margaret Alacoque. She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7, 1951, and her Final Vows on March 7, 1954, both at the Motherhouse in Ossining, NY.
Following formation, Sister Pat enrolled at Maryknoll Teachers College, graduating with a bachelor’s in education in 1954. She was then sent to Panama, where she taught Grades 1-7 at Colegio San Vincente, Ancon, Panama, from 1954-1958.
Toward the end of 1958, Sister Pat was sent to Mexico, where she served as assistant principal and English and math instructor at a high school in Merida, a town in the Yucatan, until 1961.
She then returned to Colegio San Vincente in Panama, teaching fifth grade for a few months until she was appointed religion coordinator for Santiago Junior High School, a position she held from 1962-1966.
Sister Pat then returned once more to Mexico, where she served as assistant principal, supervisor, teacher trainer and finally principal at an elementary school in Puebla from 1966-1971.
Later in 1971, Sister Pat returned to the United States, where she would serve for the rest of her years in active ministry. Following completion of a master’s degree in education at St. John’s University, Jamaica, NY, in 1972, she served as a graduate student representative on the faculty council of the University’s School of Education, while completing studies for a professional diploma in educational administration and supervision at the school. She received that diploma in 1974.
Sister Pat then worked as a remedial reading teacher for troubled youth at Lincoln Hall, Lincolndale, NY, from 1974-1977. She then was sent to New Hampshire, where she again taught remedial reading, this time to disadvantaged youth, followed by teaching fourth grade in a local public school, from 1977-1980. In September 1980, she was appointed principal of the Main Street Public School, Exeter, NH, a position she held until 1984.
Sister Pat was then sent to Washington, DC where she worked as assistant director of Rachael’s Women’s Center, a day center for homeless women, from 1984-1986. Later in 1986, she moved to Albany, NY, where she worked as director of the U.S. Catholic Conference’s Refugee Resettlement Program until 1990, and taught English as a Second Language to homebound Polish and Vietnamese women in the city. She then worked as a teacher in a public elementary school from 1990-1996.
Sister Pat also served as a pastoral volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Albany, where she was active in the ecumenical and interreligious affairs program, and helped spearhead an outreach program that birthed a sister parish relationship between St. Vincent’s and the Maryknoll Sisters’ work in Darien, Panama. Sister Pat was also very involved in justice and peace issues, serving in a variety of organizations and on the congregation’s Social Concerns Committee.
A vespers service wwasheld for Sister Pat on June 22, 2015 in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center at Maryknoll, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, at 11 a.m. in the same location. Interment will be in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.