Sr. Patrice Norman R.I.P.
Sr. Patrice (Elizabeth Mary) Norman was born in Edenderry, Co. Offaly on 31 December 1939. Her parents were Stephen and Mary Norman. She is survived by her brother, Sean, and sister, Margaret.
Patrice received her primary and secondary education at the local St John of God School. Having worked in a local Solicitor’s office for one year she decided to enter St John of God Novitiate, Wexford on 2 February 1958. She made her First Profession on 6 September 1960, and made her Final Profession on 6 September 1963.
Having completed Primary Teacher Training in Carysfort, Patrice commenced her teaching career in Kilmore, Co. Wexford. She also taught in Faythe School, Wexford, Owning and Waterford. Finally in 1986 she was appointed to Rathdowney, Co. Laois, where she continued to teach until her retirement in 2001. After her retirement she remained in Rathdowney and through her membership of the ‘Co. Laois Forum’ she gained an overall view of the needs in the county. Aware of the needs in Rathdowney, she responded to the local situation. With the help of local volunteers she established the Active Retirement Group and also the Toddlers Group, thus contributing to the welfare and joy of young and old.
Patrice had a great facility for entering into other people’s experience with empathy and understanding. The gratitude of these people was very evident during her illness. She was a wonderful and entertaining storyteller with a phenomenal memory.
Months before her death, Patrice chose Psalm 23 as the Responsorial Psalm for her funeral Mass. This Psalm was very dear to Patrice and expressed her complete trust in God all through her life and especially when that trust was tested in the years of her illness. She specifically asked that an introduction to the Psalm, taken from Pope Benedict’s letter on Christian hope, be printed in the funeral Mass booklet:
“The true shepherd is:
One who knows even the path that passes through the valley of death. One who walks with me even on the path of final solitude, where no one can accompany me, guiding me through. He himself has walked this path; he has descended into the kingdom of death. He has conquered death and he has returned to accompany us now and to give us the certainty that, together with him, we can find a way through. The realisation that there is One who even in death accompanies me and with his ‘crook and his staff comforts me ‘ so that ‘I fear no evil’ – this was the new ‘hope’ that arose over the life of believers. ”
Patrice called this her “catechetical moment”!
When her final call came 10 August 2009 she went through death’s doorway into eternal life with that same spirit of surrender to the Father.
Following her Requiem Mass in St. Mary’s Church, Edenderry, Patrice was interred in the local cemetery. We thank God for all she gave throughout her life and pray that she is now enjoying the peace of God’s Kingdom.