June 7, 1926 – Feb. 1, 2019
Sister Teresa Marie Patora, whose role as a leader in the Felician Sisters culminated with an assignment in Rome, Italy, died Feb. 1 in Blessed Mary Angela Care Center, where she had been a patient since 2014. She was 92.
Born in Erie, Pa., one of six children, she attended St. Benedict’s High School there and graduated from Villa Maria Academy in Buffalo. An older sister, Sister Mary Tyburcia Szymczak, had previously entered the Immaculate Heart of Mary Province of the Felician Sisters in Buffalo and she joined her there in 1945.
She professed perpetual vows on Aug. 9, 1953.
She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in education from Mount St. Joseph Teachers College, now Medaille College, and a master’s degree in religious education from St. Paul University in Ottawa, Ont.
Patora began her career as a nurse’s aide at St. Rita’s Home for Children in Getzville, then was a nursery teacher in Guardian Angel Day Care Center in Buffalo and a kindergarten teacher at Queen of Martyrs School in Buffalo.
After earning her degrees, she became a religious consultant in St. Catharines, Ont., and Hamilton, Ont. She was transferred to Holy Name of Mary Vice Province in Canada in 1978 and became secretary of the Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre in Mississauga, Ont.
She was elected provincial vicar of Holy Name of Mary Province in 1983 and in 1989 became a leader at the Felician order’s Our Lady Mediatrix of Graces Generale in Rome.
After serving there for three years, she returned to assist the poor at St. Felix Centre in Toronto.
Returning to the United States in 1995, she was transferred back to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Province the following year, served in parish ministry in Erie, Syracuse and Oswego, then assisted in the St. Francis Residence in Buffalo.
Survivors include a sister, Helen Dubowski, and nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Monday, Feb. 4, in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent Chapel, 600 Doat St.