Written on: March 27, 2018
Growing up, the bustling neighborhoods of Jackson Heights, New York, were home to Sister Dolores Fitzpatrick (Sister Claire Marie). She met the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart at Blessed Sacrament School and began her life-long journey with them. Sister Dolores served many ministry years as an elementary schoolteacher in Atlanta, Georgia, and Potsdam, New York among other locales.
Often called to the role of principal, she fulfilled that role at Immaculate Conception School in Eden, New York, at St. Jude’s School in Atlanta, Georgia, and at St. Norbert’s School in Paoli, Pennsylvania. At St. Mary’s School in Potsdam, she felt most at home. She loved the city and the students.
When she retired from education,she served as Coordinator for the sisters living at the Motherhouse in Yardley. She presently lives at Holy Redeemer Lafayette where she enjoys time for prayer, leisure and quiet time with her Grey Nun sisters.
At this special time in my life, I wish to express my deep gratitude to God for the gift of my religious vocation. I’d also like to thank my parents and family members for their continued support over the years.To my Grey Nun congregation, I am deeply appreciative of the many occasions afforded me for growth, including opportunities for spiritual development and academic training.
As I consider my seventy years as a Grey Nun, a panorama of events come to mind. First, of course, were the dozens of fruitful years spent with the young and the very young. What precious memories of innocent faces, first day jitters, and squeals of laughter. I loved it all!
Another significant event for all Grey Nuns was the 1990 canonization of our beloved foundress, St. Marguerite d’Youville. It was a singular joy to be present for the ceremony and celebration.
The founding of St. Mary’s School in Potsdam, New York, holds a special place in my heart. Four of us answered the call and traveled to upstate New York. Warmly welcomed by parishioners, the GNSH ministered at St. Mary’s for almost forty years.
A highlight of my life was the opportunity for a two month sabbatical at the Manna House of Prayer in Concordia, Kansas. The days there were graced moments indeed.