a Heart Fulfilled

In 1957 I was appointed to teach at St. Gregory’s School in San Mateo, California, embarking on a journey that would change my life. After 15 years of teaching I began a pastoral ministry at St. Martin’s Parish in Sunnyvale, California spending 36 years as a pastoral associate, becoming the first pastoral associate in the diocese.  Working as a pastoral associate was such a remarkable experience that even in my retirement years I continued to focus on pastoral care. The years spent, experiences gained, and friendships developed in Northern California had a monumental impact on who I am as a woman, sister, and friend.  I realized that while home is Los Angeles I had become deeply rooted in Northern California.


Choosing to move to the IHM residence was not a decision that was made quickly and took the influence of losing two of my biological sisters Frances and Patty (one week apart),  acknowledging that I still had one surviving sister Genevieve located in Southern California, and recognizing that my sisters in the community could utilize a few of my abilities. These thoughts continue to flood my prayers and gradually I strategized my move to be closer to my sister and my community.


I began visiting Pat Haid and Jo Ann Vasquez has they both moved to the residence within that past year. They were both enthusiastic but they both provided a realistic vantage point about all that I would experience moving back to Southern California.  I continued to visit and each visit gave me a sense of the REAL spirit of the Community reminding me that this is what I had experienced for so many years. While it was difficult to leave the North, I realized that I was finally spiritually prepared to start a new chapter in my life, it was time to move to the IHM residence!

It has now been over a year and a half since I moved to the residence and in this time I have become more aware of the special needs of my fellow community members. I have dedicated myself to providing transportation and emotional support during doctors’ visits, gave a hand by assisting with shopping, and enjoying outings with my sisters. I am now calling out for members and friends of the IHM Community to continue to Fill the Hearts of the residents by volunteer your time and if you are able financial support to the IHM residence at Kenmore.


I thank God that I can call 435 S. Kenmore Avenue my new address and my home. It is my greatest pleasure to be here with so many of my old/dearest friends, in a community of love, where the residents and staff seek the best for one another.


By: Patrice Underwood, IHM
January 21, 2016