A rich life lived in a dynamic process of action and attitude, hope and helpfulness describes the 96 years of Sister Mary Patricia Snyder’s life and 76 years of religious profession. Her many ministries of elementary school teacher and supervisor, high school principal and counselor, college dean, and volunteer proved her as one who followed God’s call and the needs of the times, always forward-looking. Sister’s life was a journey of loving as God loves—fully, unconditionally, and passionately—until her death on October 1 at Rosary Care Center in Sylvania, Ohio.
Ethel Elizabeth was the eighth of nine children born to Lucas and Kathryn (Mallory) Snyder. She attended St. James School and Notre Dame Academy. In 1943 she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame receiving the name of Sister Mary Patricia.
She loved the Sisters of Notre Dame’s educational legacy and became an exceptional educator who put her whole heart and soul into instructing and guiding others. Sister was teacher and administrator in elementary schools of the Toledo Diocese before her ministry in the high schools. As Principal of Notre Dame Academy from 1971-1982 she imparted her high ideals
to students, parents, and teachers, molding them into persons of faith and integrity. As a strong leader who always kept the interest of her students and teachers at heart as she introduced new activities with the large staff and growing number of students while also introducing fun days such as dances and picnics. During her years at Notre Dame Academy she opened the Guidance Department and initiated the counseling program for 500 girls.
Among Sister’s great joys were traveling abroad with high school students, leading a Bible study group, and organizing the annual Interfaith Blood Drive. Reading a good book and sharing it with others highlighted her day. In the Notre Dame community she was in charge of public relations thus writing articles for the local newspaper, keeping the annals, and publishing newsletters for many years.
Sister offered herself to God and others by her friendliness, willingness to listen, and being present to others. “God has touched my life in so many ways and is vitally present. My search has been to know God’s plan for me and to open myself to those opportunities to make it possible for me to move in the direction of divine love.” On October 1, Sister Mary Patricia, wholly transformed, surrendered herself to her Bridegroom and now lives in the Divine Love. May she rest in peace!