WLA Remembers Sr. Patricia A. Crowley, OSB
Patricia A. Crowley, OSB, who dedicated her life to serving people experiencing homelessness and other social justice issues, passed away October 14, 2023. Services will be held on November 4 in Evanston, IL.
Patricia “Patsy” Ann Crowley was born on May 13, 1939 in Chicago, the oldest daughter of Patrick and Patricia C. Crowley, founders of the Christian Family Movement. She became a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago in 1958 where she received the name Sister Mary Patrick. She received her B.A in English Literature in 1965 from Mundelein College and an M.A. in Catechetical Theology from Manhattan College in 1970. She taught in elementary schools and at St. Scholastica Academy until 1979 when she began her social service work in community and homelessness initiative at Howard Area Community Center where she was the Executive Director for ten years. She then spent two years traveling abroad in Central America studying how women living in poverty organize themselves politically.
In 1991, Sr. Crowley began her thirteen-year tenure as the Executive Director of Deborah’s Place, a not-for-profit organization that offers support and housing to women experiencing homelessness in Chicago. She also served as Executive Director for the Chicago Continuum of Care and served during the consolidation with the Partnership to End Homelessness in Chicago. Sr. Crowley received numerous awards for her dedication and work in the initiative to end homelessness and awareness of the prison system and its contribution to homelessness.
The WLA holds the Papers of Sr. Crowley which document her life and career, and other members of the Crowley family. Other collections at the WLA that relate to Sr. Crowley include the Patricia Caron Crowley Papers, her mother, and the Deborah’s Place Records. Learn more about the collections through the finding aids and other resources linked below.
Digital collection: Women and Social Justice
Oral History interview from 2018: