This year, 2022, marks Sister Patricia Catlett’s 70th anniversary in the order of the Dominican Sisters of Hope.
Born in Denver, Pat earned her degree as a Registered Nurse at Bronx Community College, and her bachelor’s degree in social work from Ohio Dominican College. She entered the Dominican Sisters of the Sick Poor in 1952 at 18 years old, and took her final vows in September of 1957 as Sister Robert Martin, and later became Sister Patricia Catlett.
Sister Patricia has enjoyed a long and varied career as a nurse and social worker. She ministered with the Dominican Sisters of the Sick Poor in Denver in 1955-56; in Cincinnati, Ohio 1956-57; and in Ossining, New York 1958-60.
After completing her studies, she worked as a nurse with the Dominican Sisters in Hampton Bays, New York, 1962-63; in Columbus, Ohio, 1963-64; and in Springfield, Ohio, 1964-83.
With Catholic Social Services in Springfield, she also did nursing and social work in 1978-79, then home-nursing at Ohio’s Urbana Nursing Home in 1979-83. She also served as a nurse for ten years at the St. Mary of the Springs Infirmary in Columbus from 1983 to 1993.
In the mid-1990s, the several communities of Dominican Sisters merged to become the Dominican Sisters of Hope, a group of dedicated women that continues to this day reaching out to help the young and the elderly, the poor and the homeless, the disabled and the lonely.
Sister Pat cared for an elderly parent in Denver for four years from 1994 to 1998, then worked in ministry to the blind in the late ’90s, followed by work with the Dominican Archdiocesan Housing Committee in Denver until relocating to California in 2020.
While Pat was visiting her sister Mary Jo in early 2020, Covid hit, and they became instant roommates. Now over two years later, they have made it a permanent alliance.
The Denver natives often reminisce about their loving parents. Bob Catlett was known as “Doc” because friends brought their problems to him. He retired as a Captain on the Denver Fire Department after 40 years; he was loved by all. Connie Catlett would never agree but her friends said she was really a “Chef” long before women were thought of in that category. She was also a Wizardess with the needle: dress-maker, home-maker, and all-around great mom.
Joking, Sister Pat says that she “shares the limelight” with actor/sister Mary Jo Catlett (who calls Pat her “Sister sister”). Mary Jo’s credits include several Broadway shows, most notably as ‘Ernestina’ in Hello, Dolly! with Carol Channing. Her television and film credits include the role of ‘Pearl’ on Diff’rent Strokes, in The Champ, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Semi-Tough. She currently voices the character of ‘Mrs. Puff’ in the long-running animated series SpongeBob SquarePants.
It might be a bit difficult to have a long phone conversation with Sister Pat at this time, as she is an avid supporter of her favorite baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Retaining her sharp sense of humor, Pat was quoted in the recent Dominican Sisters of Hope newsletter as saying, “Seventy years is way over my head. Only gratitude and wonder fill my heart and soul. Now let’s party!” She and a small group of friends will gather in late October at a dinner to congratulate Sister Patricia Catlett on her Jubilee.