Meet Sister Patricia Ann Toscano

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, a city that had 3 motherhouses — Mercy, Servants of Mary and Notre Dame sisters — and many other orders of sisters in various schools and hospitals. So, I was influenced by the idea of a religious vocation very early in life. But when our sisters came to our parish I knew I wanted to know more about them. However, I was an only child for almost 9 years before my sister and then my brother were born. I grew up in an Italian family and the center of that family was Nana (grandmother); we were always gathering at her home. So, my other idea about life was to have lots of children.

My piano and organ teacher, Sister Annella, Janssen was such a dear and so encouraging. She was a good teacher, but she also talked about the sisters and her life here in Yankton. Without pressuring me, she would simply say, “Maybe someday you will be a sister.”

And so it was to be, I entered Sacred Heart Convent (at that time) in 1966 and began college at Mount Marty College. We are the last group of women to enter out of high school without any other experience. It was post-Vatican II, and the church and many communities were trying to deal with all the changes. While we lost a number of sisters through those transitions, I am grateful the Spirit through the holy women in this community guided me to stay. Sisters Annella, Pierre Roberts, Jane Klimisch and Aquinas Thuente were the most influential.

I am musician and have directed the liturgy and music for our community for over 40 years. The Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharist have been a big part of my formation as a sister. To stand with my community before the presence of God is an awesome privilege and gives me strength to face the challenges of life. As Benedict says at the end of the Prologue in his Rule: “As we advance in the religious life and faith, we shall run the way of God’s commandments with expanded hearts and unspeakable sweetness of love; so that never departing from His guidance and persevering in the monastery in His doctrine till death, we may by patience share in the sufferings of Christ, and be found worthy to be coheirs with Him of His kingdom.”



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store