Sister Patricia Collins, RSM 1936-2021
Sister Patricia Collins, formerly known as Sister Mary Denis, died Aug. 18, 2021, at Mercy Center, Buffalo. For nearly 70 years, Sister Patricia had served the community as an educator, administrator, apartment manager, and health care assistant.
Born in Buffalo on March 12, 1936, Patricia, known as Patsy, was the daughter of John and Margaret (McPartlin) Collins and the youngest of eight children. Both her parents emigrated from Ireland in the late 1800s to settle in South Buffalo.
Patsy attended St. Teresa Elementary School and graduated from Mount Mercy Academy June 1953. Having been taught by the Sisters of Mercy for 12 years and with her oldest sister a member of the Mercy Community, Patsy answered God’s call to become a Sister of Mercy, entering July 16, 1953. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from Niagara University and continued on at Buffalo State University of New York earning a master’s in Education.
Sister Patricia’s ministry in education as teacher and principal spanned many years and places. Her ministry in Buffalo schools included St. John the Evangelist, St. William, St. Stephen, St. Monica & St. Stephen, St. Brigid, Holy Family, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Lake View), St. Martin and St. Agatha. Her education ministry outside of Buffalo brought her to Albion, LeRoy, Jamestown and Niagara Falls. She touched the lives of countless students and families and her inherited Irish wit endeared her to all.
In 1989, Sister Patricia accepted the position as director of McAuley House in South Buffalo. This ministry, sponsored by the Mercy Community, reached out to homeless and troubled young women. She later served as associate manager of the Julianna Apartments.
As coordinator of Visitation and Communication on the Mercy Center Health Care Unit the sisters appreciated Sister Patricia’s friendly, caring manner and sense of humor.
Her ring motto expresses well the whole of her life, “All for Jesus.”
Sister Patrica is predeceased by Sister Mary Victorine, Ella Farrell, and brothers, John J. Jr., Dennis J., Francis J., Lawrence J. and Vincent Collins.
A funeral Mass was held at St. Teresa Church in Buffalo.