Sister Patricia McDermott is the president of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, which includes the continental United States, Caribbean, Central and South America, and the Pacific countries of Guam and the Philippines.
She began her career teaching English, journalism and religious education at the secondary level, which she continued for 10 years before taking time off to complete her doctoral studies. Following this, she taught pastoral theology at The Catholic University of America.
After stepping into a leadership role with the Sisters of Mercy Provincial Administrative Team, Pat would later serve as the president of the Sisters of Mercy in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1999, she was elected to the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Leadership Team prior to being elected to her current position as president in 2011.
Pat’s past ministerial experience has included presenting workshops in areas of religious education and spirituality. She has assisted in parish adult education programs; visited and worked with elderly in care centers and homes; and taught scripture to parish and college groups.
Pat has held many board positions in ministries that provide health care, education and housing, where she has served with lay colleagues as well as women religious. She values the commitment to the mission of Mercy that she sees in ministry colleagues who witness to the legacy of Catherine McAuley and who provide multiple responses to the needs of our suffering world.
Says Pat of how her ministry experience has prepared her for leadership:
“The most significant learning of my ministry of community service has been the constant awareness of the gift of office. My attentiveness to and trusting of this sacred energy grounds me. I live in a deeply graced ‘space’ where the sacred energy within, around and about me leads and directs me. I have learned about this gift in both small and striking ways, and I trust the integrity of this graced presence immensely.”Sister Patricia McDermott, Institute President