Sister Bernadine Pachta — on her 60th Jubilee

Sister Bernadine Pachta
Sister Bernadine Pachta

PARENTS: Vincent J. and Magdalena C. Pachta
HOMETOWN: Belleville, Kan.
RELIGIOUS NAME: Sister Magdella
Marymount College, Salina (bachelor’s degree in psychology); Emporia (Kan.) State University (master’s in library science); advanced study at Long Beach (Calif.) State College, University of San Frnacisco and University of Texas at Austin (library science) and Boston College (spirituality)

1957-1966 Primary teacher in Junction City, Collyer, Pfeifer, Leawood and Salina, Kan.
1966-1973 Marymount College Library, including three years as acquisitions librarian
1973-1986 Director of Library and A-V Services, Marymount College Library
1987 Librarian in the Lamont Library at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
1988-2005 Assistant to the Director of University Library at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
2005-today Archivist of the Sisters of St. Joseph at the Motherhouse


Over the years, “The Servant Song” by Richard Gillard has become a favorite for me:

“Will you let me be your servant, Let me be as Christ to you,… pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant, too.” (verse 1)

To this day, these words come to me and are close to my heart when I recall the diverse opportunities that were given me during my many years of ministry at Marymount College.

A special time was gathering with students — young ladies and men — who invited me to pray with them in the early morning before breakfast and classes. The prayer time was not structured — each person prayed whatever was in their heart on that particular day. Sometimes there was silence; it was a time of touching into the God in each person — a time of seeing the face of God in each person — that carried on throughout the day.

During these prayer times we formed “community” that supported each other through the ordinary events of the days at college and later life. It is now nearly 30 years since my ministry at Marymount, a bond was formed that remains. To

this day I’m in contact with several former students.

“We are pilgrims on a journey, We are trav’lers on the road; We are here to help each other…”     (verse 2)

Yes, I am one of the “pilgrims on a journey” grateful for all that has been given me since my birth in rural Kansas to Catholic faith-filled parents who provided wonderful opportunities for me, my brothers and sisters.

Special gratitude is that I am a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia.

These 60 years has given me more opportunities and responsibilities than I could ever imagine — most especially bringing God’s presence to others.


One thought on “Sister Bernadine Pachta — on her 60th Jubilee

  • March 5, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    As a Marymount graduate I send congratulations to Sister Bernadine on her 60th Jubilee. You were such a blessing at Marymount. May God continue to bless you.

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