March 29, 1928 – June 14, 2022
Sister Margaret Patrice (Mary Anne) Devlin, CSJ, died at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham, New York on June 14, 2022. She was 94 years old and had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 74 years. Born in Syracuse on March 29, 1928, Mary Anne attended St. Vincent de Paul School in that city. Both Mary Anne and her sister Frances, as well as their parents, Margaret Ruddy Devlin and Thomas Devlin, were active in the parish, and Mary Anne came to know and love the Sisters of St. Joseph who taught her.
After graduating from St. Vincent’s in 1946, Mary Anne entered our community, receiving the name Sister Margaret Patrice. She then began a truly gifted life of ministry to countless children, loving each day. Along the way, Sister Margaret completed a B.A. and M.A. at The College of Saint Rose, the first degree in elementary education and the second in speech correction and hearing. These degrees would shape her ministerial life.
For the first years of her ministry, Sister Margaret taught primary grades in schools of the dioceses of Albany and Syracuse. A fine teacher, Sister Margaret was able to reach students of varying abilities, encouraging and challenging each young pupil. In 1966, having completed her master’s degree, Sister Margaret moved into the field of speech pathology. For the next 30 years, she excelled in this field.
The Sisters of St. Joseph opened the Carondelet Education Center, a multi-phase learning program, sponsored by The College of Saint Rose and located at St. Joseph’s Provincial House. The program filled a major need as most schools were not yet able to provide the intense remediation necessary. It was blessed with creative leadership and strong support from the New York State Department of Education. Sister Margaret Patrice was tapped to head the speech and language program at the center. She served as administrator, faculty, mentor and inspirational leader. Colleagues, other professionals and parents sought her advice, and she never said no. She loved one-on-one work with students and was equally skilled in small group work.
Amid all these responsibilities, Sister Margaret was unflappable. Gentle and low-key, she was always available to her faculty and concerned for their welfare. She also enjoyed interactions with staff and parents. Colleagues were sometimes surprised to discover that she had a great sense of humor, relishing jokes and being teased.
In 1993, Sister Margaret Patrice received the Distinguished Alumni Award from The College of Saint Rose. The citation read, “It is a tribute to Sister Margaret’s vision, dedication and hard work that the Carondelet Education Center has been so successful in providing services to preschool children. …It is indeed time that Sister Margaret be recognized and honored by her fellow Saint Rose alumni.”
When the need for specialized speech remediation began to decline, Sister Margaret offered her services as a driver and enjoyed that ministry for several years. She continued to volunteer even as her health diminished.
She is lovingly remembered by the Sisters of St. Joseph with whom she shared community life at the Provincial House, the health care staff, as well as by family members and her dear friend, Betty Proper. Sister Margaret is survived by a nephew, Christopher O’Hara, and a niece, Margot Robbins.
Due to continued health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no public visitation or funeral services for Sister Margaret Patrice. Contributions in Sister’s memory may be made to the Office of Mission Advancement, St. Joseph’s Provincial House, 385 Watervliet Shaker Rd., Latham, NY, 12110 or donate online.