“Sister Pat” Robinson

RENSSELAER — St. Augustine Catholic Catholic Church will host a memorial mass at noon Sept. 21 for Sister Patricia Robinson of the Blessed Virgin Mary sisterhood.

Robinson, who was known to many simply as “Sister Pat,” died in early August at the age of 87.

“There’s plenty of neighbors and colleagues and so on who would not have wanted to travel to Dubuque, Iowa, where she was buried, but would like to attend this memorial mass,” said St. Joseph’s College alumnus Patrick Schuttrow.

Schuttrow was close to Robinson growing up, both literally and figuratively.

“I grew up next door to her when she first moved to the community in 1977,” he said. “She was our next-door neighbor from 1977 through 2016. For many years, I grew up around her.”

According to her obituary, Robinson was an elementary teacher in several states, including Iowa, Illinois and Montana. She was also a secondary teacher in Illinois and Nebraska and a substitute teacher in South Bend. She was a teaching and research assistant at the University of Notre Dame, as well as a sociology professor at SJC.

Robinson was born April 5, 1932, in Chicago, to Daniel and Mary A. Burg Robinson. She entered the BVM congregation on Sept. 8, 1950, from Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Chicago. She then professed first vows on March 19, 1953, and her final vows on July 16, 1958.

After she died, Schuttrow became aware that many local people wanted to pay their respects to her but were unable to visit her burial site.

“Lots of people in the community, I knew, were mourning her loss,” he said. “But she was buried in Dubuque, so many people commented that that’s just a little to far to travel for a lot of people. I thought, ‘Well, let’s see what we can do.’”

Schuttrow said that SJC’s leadership was unable to offer a space for the mass to be on campus. But father Donald Davison, of St. Augustine Catholic Church, agreed to help out with a mass at the church instead.