Sister Pat Neihouse — on her 60th Jubilee

Sister Pat Neihouse

PARENTS: John Bernard and Inez Ella Foulke Neihouse
HOMETOWN: Salina, Kan.
Marymount College, Salina (bachelor’s degree in history); certificates in pastoral vocations, adult evangelization, religious life formation, spiritual orientation and direction, theology, philosophy, ethics and contemporary problems, parent effectiveness training and group dynamics

1957-1960 Teaching grade school, Concordia
1960-1961 Teaching sixth grade, Leawood, Kan.
1963-1969 In Teresina, Piauí, Brazil, in the St. Joseph the Worker Parish, learning the language and customs; founding the Brazilian mission
1969-1975 In Teresina, directing formation of junior sisters, and serving in various places in the parish
1978-1979 In Rio de Janeiro, Petropolis and Fortaleza, coordinating a course for all religious of Brazil
1985-1988 In Nova Esperanca, Para, Brazil, forming communities and leaders in a lawless area of the southern part of the state of Pará
1989-1991 In Teresina, teaching liturgy, catechesis and psychology to seminarians from the seven regions in Piauí
1985-2014 In Teresina and across northeast Brazil, as well as in Concordia and Salina, presenting Enneagram courses in two phases
2000-today In Teresina, working on the archives and history of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brazil


As I contemplate my life as a Sister of St. Joseph, one thing always returns to my memory: The renewal of life in the Church and consequently my life, through Vatican Council II and its various aspects of renewal.

In 1957, Cardinal Suenens had opened my heart to the meaning of mission: Many people needed our hand to help them delve more deeply into the gift of faith they had received. Thus, this opened my heart to a deeper love of the Word (Word of God) and to the witnessing of his love.s I contemplate my life as a Sister of St. Joseph, one thing always returns to my memory: The renewal of life in the Church and consequently my life, through Vatican Council II and its various aspects of renewal.

Then when I came to Brazil in 1963, Vatican II gave us more meaning to all the gifts of the people of God in the document “Lumen Gentium” and going out to all peoples in the world in the document “Gaudium et Spes.”

Living in Teresina, in our new mission, I gained many insights on how to help others, because we had speakers come in to help us put into practice these documents. In community and with the Redemptorist Fathers, we studied them and planned our actions together. Little by little we touched children, youth and adults, and then with time, formed communities. Working together and growing together were our thrusts.

During our various 26 missions across northeast Brazil throughout the years we continue these thrusts. With the change of times, people leaned on fast “cures,” “happiness” and “immediate answers” to their needs and began to forget the essence of Vatican II.

Then in April 2013, to our joy, the Bishops of Brazil started to redefine the meaning of community, giving new hope

to the people in this individualistic society. The document “Community of Communities: A New Parish” helps us to get back to our roots as community.

According to the document, “The Church in Brazil wants to be a presence of life, hope, consolation, justice and peace, because its mission is to evangelize.” One of the bishops who led the April 2013 meeting was the Bishop of Argentina, now Pope Francis.

I, as a Sister of St. Joseph, am overjoyed in being able to be true to my calling of love and be true to that love with all peoples. We love all and work with all peoples who need help to learn to love and understand God´s Word.


One thought on “Sister Pat Neihouse — on her 60th Jubilee

  • May 11, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Pat, I still remember the fun I had with you when I went to visit back in the ’70’s. What a loving and spirited group I found in the Brazilian and American nuns there. I bet that still hasn’t changed, especially with you there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.