MOUNT PLEASANT—Franciscan Sister Pat Rogan has been at St. Benedict Church for less than a year, but from the very beginning, she said she felt like part of the family.
“I deeply appreciate the kindness of Msgr. Chet and all the people here who have welcomed me,” Sister Pat said.
The parishioners appreciate her too. On June 26 they will host a celebration for their pastoral associate at All Saints Lutheran Church in honor of her 50th anniversary as a religious.
Beth Tuchfarber, part of the St. Benedict staff, said everyone in the parish has been invited to participate in a pot-luck supper at 6:30 p.m., after the evening Mass.
She uses a whole host of s-words to describe Sister Pat: sweet, soft-spoken, spiritual and sharp — as in a tack.
“She notices everything,” Tuchfarber said. “She has been a blessing — a good asset for St. Benedict.”
Since her arrival last September, the Franciscan sister has been involved with preparing a new three-year plan for the parish, which is currently building a church.
She said they are looking at upcoming needs and revitalizing what they already have.
Sister Pat said one ministry they are discussing is the small faith community and how it could work with St. Benedict.
When the parish planning is complete, Sister Pat said she would like to become more involved with the spiritual offerings of the church.
And Sister Pat comes to St. Benedict with much to offer.
She has served as a spiritual director, business and religion secondary teacher, principal, religious congregation administrator, and a congregation formation director.
At the diocesan level she has been the director of the Institute for Ministries, a delegate for religious, and associate director of the diaconate program for the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and master’s degrees in secondary education and spirituality
Msgr. Chester M. Moczydlowski, pastor, complimented her gentle nature and said her natural inclusiveness drew people to her as the sister reached out to involve everyone in parish activities.
“She’s a real witness to the spirit of St. Francis,” he said. “People seem to love her. They’ve really reached out to help her celebrate her golden milestone.”
This will be Sister Pat’s second commemoration.
The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities celebrated recently with Mass, a dinner, and an open reception at the motherhouse in Pittsburgh.
The women renewed their vows after Mass and were treated to music and interpretative dance by their fellow religious.
Sister Pat said it was a huge event with over 500 women religious, plus family and friends.
“It gave me an opportunity to see all the sisters I’ve ministered with and to see my family, so it was wonderful,” she said.
The Franciscan said she and Sister Kathy Adamski, also a pastoral associate at St. Benedict, were drawn to the area by the warmth of the people and the beauty of the surroundings.
“We felt the spirit of God calling us to minister in South Carolina because there are so few religious here,” she said.
She was staying with Sister Kathy and recovering from an illness when Msgr. Moczydlowski invited her to join her fellow Franciscan.
It was providential.
At the jubilee Mass in Pittsburgh, Sister Pat said the theme was the graciousness of God has been bestowed upon me.
She added that in her time here, she has really felt the truth of that statement.