Bro. Patrick R. (Thomas) Strong, O.S.A. (1929 - 1993)
Brother Patrick R. Strong, O.S.A. entered eternal life on March 29, 1993.
Patrick Roy Strong was born on May 13, 1929 in Rockford, Illinois to Roy and Catherine (McCarten) Strong. He was baptized on June 16, 1929 at St. Mary Catholic Church, Rockford, where Augustinians ministered.
In 1947, Patrick entered the formation program for Augustinian brothers at St. Monica, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, taking the religious name Brother Thomas. Upon completion of his time as an Oblate and as a Postulant, he was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on October 10, 1951. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on October 11, 1952 and solemn (permanent) vows on October 11, 1955.
Brother Thomas did maintenance work at St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois, from 1952 to 1958. He continued this work as part of the Augustinian community at St. Augustine Seminary, Holland, Michigan, from 1958 to 1962. He was then transferred to Mendel Monastery, Chicago, where he continued to do maintenance work. During this time, he resumed using his baptismal name, Patrick or Pat.
In 1971, Brother Patrick began a new area of service when he accepted an appointment to work in the cafeteria of St. Rita High School, Chicago. He returned to Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, in 1983 and continued in cafeteria work there until 1988. During these years, he was a Chaplain to the Boy Scout Troop at St. Rita Church, Chicago, and to a Troop in the neighborhood surrounding Mendel. He enjoyed this ministry immensely. In 1988, Brother Patrick was transferred to St. Rita Parish, Racine, Wisconsin. His ministry in the parish community there was performed with simplicity and concern.
At the age of 63, Brother Pat died on March 29, 1993 from pancreatic cancer at Chateau Village Nursing Home, Willowbrook, Illinois. He died as he lived, making people feel at ease and accepting generously whatever was sent into his life. He was a man of deep faith and humility. As he said to many people during his last days, “I'm ready to go home.”
Brother Pat is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.