Pat Haggerty Print

Pat HaggertyI have always been a fan of Robert Frost.  One of my favorite poems is “The Road Not Taken.”  It speaks to who I am, where I have been, and where I am going.  Please don’t get the wrong impression!  I have never done grandiose things like—been a missionary in a foreign land, traveled the world, or even run a marathon.  More aptly speaking, my version of the Frost poem would be entitled “The Winding Path.”

I was born into a loving, Catholic home sixty-three years ago.  It is hard for me to imagine that I am that old.  I still have the spirit of a much younger person.  Maybe that’s delusion instead of reality or perhaps it is my ever-optimistic spirit that “we are only as old as we think!”  Right!

Anyway, I was the oldest of six born into a French-Canadian family in New Hampshire.  Three of my four grand-parents were born in Canada.  Growing up, we lived in a tenement in Manchester, New Hampshire.  I was educated first by the Sisters of the Holy Cross (les Soeurs de Sainte-Croix) and later by the Sisters of Mercy.  I was strongly influenced by the Carmelites for the Aged and Infirm who ran a nursing home in Manchester.  Starting in eighth grade I spent almost every Saturday at the Mount Carmel Nursing Home as a Carmelette (that is what we young volunteers were called).  I could have been home helping my mother, but instead, I was at Mount Carmel helping the aged.

After high school, I entered Carmel but only stayed through the postulancy.  I loved working with the elderly, and I loved the sisters.  I realized, though, that God had other plans for me.  I switched from aspirations of being a nurse to dedicating myself to education.  This is where the winding path begins.  I really thought I was meant to be a sister and a nurse—but, I ended up going to college for education and marrying following my junior year.

Now, I am the mother of three wonderful, grown children and the grandmother of five.  I have been married for almost forty-one years.  I have recently retired as an elementary school principal having spent thirty-three years in the field of education.  I thought I would spend my days as a classroom teacher, and I did for fifteen of those thirty-three years.  Yes, here is another one of those twists in the path.  I love being challenged, so I went into administration.  My administrative jobs ranged from being an assistant superintendent to being a district-wide curriculum director.  I always wanted to end my career working with the very young—and I did.  My last four years were spent as a primary school principal.  I loved it!

As to the spiritual side of this journey, it didn’t end with my leaving Carmel.  That was just the beginning.  I have always had a desire to follow Jesus.  I just chose to follow him as a lay person in the Church.  He showed me that I could use my talents working within my family, within my schools, and within my church.  That is what I have been doing.  I spend each day trying to live my best and follow Him.

I have been fortunate to be involved with the Assumptionists for the past 36 years as a communicant of St. Anne-St. Patrick Parish in Fiskdale, Massachusetts.  St. Anne’s is one of the few parishes and shrines in the United States operated by the Assumptionists.  I have grown to know these men, respect them, and admire their charism.  The best part is that I consider them my friends.

I hope you journey with me as I continue my quest to live out the life the Lord has planned for me.  Perhaps we can discover Him along the way together.

Last Updated on Friday, 09 September 2011 16:16