“I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous deeds.”
― Psalm 9:2
Sister Patricia Canty, 87, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL) for 64 years, died on October 4, 2023. She entered religious life on August 23, 1959, and took the name Sister Marie Andre when she received her habit. She later returned to her baptismal name.
Sister Patricia was born on March 31, 1936, in Butte, Montana. She was the eldest of the four children of Dr. Charles R. and Lilyan P. (née McCanna) Canty. She and her three younger brothers would often ride their bicycles all over the back roads west of Butte or climb to the top of Big Butte to look out over the world. They would often spend time at Big Hole River, where her father would fish with the boys while she visited with her mother.
Sister Patricia was taught by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth at St. Patrick’s Grade School and Girls’ Central High School. The Sisters’ joy and enthusiasm inspired her to consider a religious vocation from an early age. After graduating from high school, she earned her bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University and taught for two years in Milan, Washington. She credited Sister Mary Seraphine Sheehan for inspiring her to apply for the novitiate of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth in Kansas.
Sister Patricia went on to teach for 45 years in schools in Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, and Wyoming. She often taught music, social studies, reading, Spanish, and ESL, but most of the time, she taught in a self-contained middle-grades classroom. Upon retirement, she moved to her hometown of Butte and joined the Foster Grandparent Program as a tutor at Central Elementary School.
Sister Patricia enjoyed writing poetry. She once said that she would like to spend her retirement writing poetry and conversing with the Spanish-speaking Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth who lived in Peru.
Preceding Sister Patricia in death were her parents; and brother, Marcus Canty. Survivors include brother Charles (Ralene) Canty; brother Edward (Joanne) Canty; and sister-in-law Mary Ann Canty; and the SCL Community.
There will be a vigil service at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, in Ross Chapel, SCL Mother House, Leavenworth. Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated in Ross Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. Interment followed in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Mother House grounds. Memorial contributions can be made to the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, 4200 S. 4th St., Leavenworth, KS 66048.
Click HERE to view a short video celebrating the life of Sister Patricia.