A funeral Mass for Sister James Patrick Corbett was celebrated Nov. 7 at Nazareth Living Center Chapel in South St. Louis County. Sister James Patrick died Nov. 4 at Nazareth. The longtime educator was 93 and a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 72 years.
Born in St. Louis to Harry and Elizabeth (Quigley) Corbett and given the name Rosemary Adeline, she attended Sacred Heart School in St. Louis, where the Loretto Sisters taught. She later attended St. Alphonsus Rock High School in St. Louis. She had an aunt, Sister Evarista Quigley, who was a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet twice. The first time she became homesick, returned home and got a job at the Federal Reserve Bank. After being home for a year, she decided to enter the community again on Sept. 15, 1946. She received the habit and name Sister James Patrick on March 19, 1947, and made her final profession on Aug. 15, 1952. Sister James Patrick earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the College of St. Teresa in Kansas City, Mo., in 1958.
Sister James Patrick’s primary ministry was teaching elementary grades. Most of the time was spent with first and second graders, and she found it a privilege to prepare students to receive their First Communion. Her first assignment was teaching at St. Joseph’s Home for Boys in St. Louis for five months in 1949. She then taught at St. Anthony of Padua School in St. Louis (1949-50); St. Elizabeth School in Kansas City (1950-58); St. Francis de Sales School in Denver (1958-66); Notre Dame de Lourdes School in Wellston (1966-72); and returned to St. Anthony of Padua School in St. Louis (1972-79); and St. Joseph’s Home for Boys as a teacher (1979-80) and then as a tutor (1980-88).
In 1988, she went to St. Joseph Provincial House to work in the finance office, where she served until her retirement in December of 2004. In 2006, she moved to Nazareth Living Center, where she carried out a ministry of prayer and presence. She often worked on projects for the Nazareth craft fair and, with another sister, was in charge of the sewing room, where she spent hours sewing name labels inside the sisters’ clothing.
Burial was in Resurrection Cemetery.