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Serra Erie Blog

The word that best describes Saint Junipero Serra is "Zeal". It was a spirit that came from his deep prayer and dauntless will.

Sister of the Year: Sr. Patricia Whalen, RSM

The 2021 annual award for Religious Sister of the Year goes to a very energetic lady, Sister Patricia Whalen, RSM. Sister has made a full and rich gift of her time and life. She will celebrate her 60th Jubilee in 2022.

Her education began at Mercyhurst College where she earned her bachelor’s degree, she also has a master’s degree in Education from the University of Pittsburgh, a post-baccalaureate certificate from John Carroll University in Cleveland, and a certificate in Theology, Spirituality and Scripture from Gonzoga University in Spokane, Washington.


In the early part of her career with the Sisters of Mercy, she taught at St. George school in Erie and at St. Patrick school in Franklin where she also served as principal. Sr. Patricia taught elementary school within the Erie Catholic School system and taught in the Education Department of Mercyhurst College. While teaching at Mercyhurst she supervised the Cadet Teacher Program from 1970 through the conclusion of the program in 1999. Her experience at Mercyhurst University also included work as Assistant Academic Dean for three years and Registrar for nineteen years.


Sr. Patricia has also served on numerous boards and committees for the Sisters of Mercy Ministries. She has served as Vice President of the Sisters of Mercy Erie Regional community and is now on the Leadership Team of the Mercy Community called NyPaW (New York Pennsylvania West. The NyPaW Community includes the cities of Rochester, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Erie.


Sr. Patricia is being recognized as the Consecrated Religious of the Year by the Serra Club of Erie for her outstanding life of service. She is always an energetic and humble servant of the people of God.