Pat Hunter, SNJM
I am a San Francisco native, daughter of Al and Frances Murphy Hunter who were both born “in the city.”
When it was necessary to find a new place to rent in 1949, I did not want to leave my 4th grade class at St. Anne’s mid-year. However, my parents’ wisdom determined I was too young to take the bus on busy 19th Avenue. The blessing of that decision was my introduction to the Sisters of the Holy Names at St. Cecilia’s School! I loved the Sisters from the beginning. They were so welcoming, good teachers, very real and genuine, always interested and available.
The idea of being called to religious life began early on and a close connection with the Sisters through our high school sodality nurtured that call. However, the direction shifted to a desire for contemplative life and a year after high school I entered the Carmelite monastery in Berkeley, where I remained for three years.
Although I was very happy and content in the monastic enclosure, I came to realize that was not where God wished me to remain. For the next five years I worked in accounting while discerning where God was leading me. I did not feel drawn to teaching in a classroom, which most of our Sisters were doing at that time. But, we know God does have a sense of humor. My many years of devotion to Mother Marie Rose and the collusion of Sister Vivian, who had taught my Dad at St. Monica’s, brought the journey full circle and I entered our community in 1966.
In light of the just-completed Vatican Council II, many changes were in store and our community would look at education in the sense of full development of the human person. I did teach at Holy Names High School and St. Andrew’s, followed by finance work at Holy Names University and the Provincial Treasurer’s office before embarking on my long desired ministry in a parish setting. It was in this area that I directed the RCIA process, prepared people for different liturgical ministries, worked with the Liturgy Committee to plan liturgy for Ordinary Time and special feasts, accompanied seminarians in their field ed assignments, brought Eucharist to the homebound and assisted in various administrative tasks in three different parishes. I found particular joy and many blessings in this ministry that have enriched my faith journey and delight in maintaining wonderful friendships to this day.
One highlight I cannot exclude from these amazing 50 years was the privilege of attending the 1982 beatification of Blessed Marie Rose in Rome. It was a graced and wonderful experience, despite the fact we needed 46 beds for our unexpected overnight in New York because of an Italian airline strike!
It is with a grateful heart that I celebrate Jubilee with family, friends, ministry partners, and those I have been privileged to serve! To them and to my Holy Names family, I say thank you. You have been wonderful companions on the journey!