Sister Patricia Burke celebrates 60 years of religious profession

Sister Patricia Burke, for a time known as Sister M. Malachy, made her profession of vows June 19, 1964 and spent most of her 60 years of profession in high school education, though she began her teaching ministry in a primary school classroom.

She was born to Patrick and Mary Burke in County Offaly, Ireland, and raised there with her siblings until 1949 when the family moved to Chicago. She attended St. Genevieve grade school, an graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1962, and joined the Dominicans immediately. Her first teaching ministry, 1965-1969, was at St. Christina School, Chicago, Ill., where she taught grades 1 & 2. At St. Margaret Mary School, Algonquin, Ill., she taught first grade, 1969-1971. From 1971-1973 she taught grades 1 and 2 at St. Norbert School, Hardin, Ill., the graduated to grade 5 at Cathedral School Springfield, Ill., 1973-1975.

Sister Patricia Burke celebrates a Jubilee anniversary with the late Sister M. Stanley Karnosky and Sister Katherine O'Connor.

After completing a degree in chemistry, she moved on to teaching positions in several high schools over the next 21 years, teaching science, and often math and religion as well. During that time, she completed masters of education in guidance and the physical sciences. She taught at Sacred Heart Academy, 1976-1978, Rosary High School, 1978-1986, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Hammond, La., 1986-1990, and Marian Catholic High School, 1990-1999. In 1999 she returned to Rosary where she taught science through 2003. Then, for ten years she was Rosary’s assistant principal and principal. In 2013 she returned to the classroom, teaching science at DePaul College Prep, Chicago until 2019, when she moved to Sacred Heart Convent where she serves the needs of the local community in pastoral care, driving, and the supply room.

She appreciates the longing for God expressed in Psalm 63: “O God, you are my God, I seek you.”

“During my 60 years of religious life I have found God in our common prayer and liturgy, in my ministry, and in my Springfield Dominican sisters,” she said, extending an invitation to others. “Will you follow?”

"O God, you are my God, I seek you.”
Psalm 63

1 thought on “Sister Patricia Burke celebrates 60 years of religious profession”

  1. Maureen Bennett

    Sister Patricia was my chemistry teacher as well as principal during my years as a student at Rosary High School from 2000-2004. It was always a pleasure to see her in class, throughout the hallways as well as having her there to support us at our home track meets. Sister Patricia provided guidance,support, and when you needed a good laugh she knew just how to do so. Thank You Sister Patricia for all that you have done for me and so many others throughout the years. Congratulations on 60 years of service.

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