Sr. Patricia Eck, CBS Congregation Leader for the Sisters of Bon Secours worldwide, received an honorary doctor of humane letters from the University of Scranton on May 27, 2012. Sr. Pat presented the commencement address to 888 graduates at the Pennsylvania University on Pentecost Sunday. She noted this day of observance saying, “As you go into the world you have God’s assurance that the Spirit is with you. If you remember nothing from today, remember that God’s Spirit is always with you.”
Nursing graduates made up the largest group at the commencement and Sister Pat received spontaneous applause during her address when she noted that her background and overall mission is as a nurse and healer. In addition to her leadership role with the Sisters of Bon Secours, she is also the chairwoman of Bon Secours Inc. and Bon Secours Ministries board of directors, the sponsor for the Bon Secours Health System.
Sister Pat ended her commencement address by stating that the country, Church and world that they are receiving are broken and in need of healing. Then she charged them with the choices before them as they are able to make a difference. “This is your moment. This is your generation coming into being. I look out with hope and wonder. Who among you will be the prophet? Someone will. Who among you will be the difference between life and death? Who among you will bring peace and not war? Who among you will create something totally new? Who among you will create a new ministry in the Church? Someone will. Why not you?”
Receiving the doctorate was a very special honor for Sister Pat. “It is amazing. It was really out of the blue. So, it makes it so special. It is very humbling,” she said after the presentation.
In addition to her leadership roles with the Sisters of Bon Secours and the Bon Secours Health System, she is a member of the Catholic Medical Mission Board and previously served as the chairperson of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) and the Corporate Members of Mercy Housing.
Sister Pat received the prestigious Sister Mary Concilia Moran Award in 2007 from the CHA for visionary leadership and commitment to Catholic health care. The Sisters of Bon Secours received worldwide acclaim in 2011 when she was presented with the Papal award, Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal, the highest honor given to a member of a religious community by the Vatican.
Her education includes a master’s degree in health administration from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University, a master’s degree in nursing from Catholic University of America, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Today there are 55,000 Catholic women religious in the U.S. who are impacting society on all fronts. In these challenging times, Catholic sisters continue to address areas of greatest needs in our country because of their mission.