Sister Patricia A. Smith, RSM, Ph.D., respected theologian, visionary leader, and beloved teacher, will speak at Mercy High School’s 60th commencement exercises at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on Friday, June 2, 2023. Sister Pat will speak to graduating seniors and their families. This year’s 111 seniors will be attending colleges and universities across the country; they have earned a record-breaking $28 million in college scholarships.

A Baltimore native, Sister Pat entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1956. Joining the Mercy High School faculty in 1962, Sister Pat held various roles at the school: teacher, trustee, and Board chair. She also chaired the presidential search committee resulting in the appointment of the first alumna and layperson, Mary Beth Lennon ’85, to serve as president. Under Sister Pat’s leadership, Mercy High School launched Mercy Moving Forward, a transformational strategic plan that brought the prestigious International Baccalaureate Programme to Mercy High School and culminated in the construction of the school’s state-of-the-art Sisters of Mercy Athletic Complex.

Professionally, Sister Pat has served as vice president of the Sisters of Mercy, Baltimore and assistant to the president for theology, mission, and ethics at Mercy Medical Center. She has also been a visiting scholar at Yale Divinity School and a professor at Mount Saint Agnes College, Loyola University Maryland, and St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore, where she made history as the first woman appointed as academic dean. Sister Pat has also served as a board member for Marian House, Stella Maris, Mercy Health Services, and Sisters Academy of Baltimore.

A 1962 graduate of Mount Saint Agnes College, Sister Pat holds a B.A. in Latin education. She earned her M.A. in theology from the University of San Francisco and her Ph.D. in theology from the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto. An inspiring speaker and noted writer, Sister Pat has lectured widely, published numerous articles, and authored Teaching Sacraments.

Speakers at previous Mercy High School commencements include Dr. Theresa Felder, president of Harford Community College; Ms. Mary Ann Scully, dean of the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University Maryland and former president and CEO, Howard Bank; and the Honorable Carol E. Smith ’64, retired associate judge, Baltimore City Circuit Court and Sister Pat’s own sister. 

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