By Malini Manjaly, SCN | UCAN

Patna: Sister Patricia Kelley, who spent 25 years as missionary in India, died of old age complications at Nazareth Home, Louisville Kentucky Tuesday.

Sr. Kelley (90), a native of Lexington, Kentucky came to India as a missionary in 1952.

After five years of teaching at Nazareth Academy, Gaya she spent 20 years in recruitment and religious formation of young women in the congregation’s newly established novitiate in India.

In a short period, she won the hearts of many as a teacher and formator.

It was a time of great changes in the Catholic Church and in the religious orders.

The American wasted no time in changing from the habit to sari and encouraged others to do the same.

Infact, says Sr. Sangeeta Ayithamattam, SCN Provincial, “Sister Kelley was a pioneer in implementing radical living in formation. She was a good writer, musician and spiritual guide and a creative teacher.”

After having laid a strong foundation in India for formation and growth of membership, she returned to the United States in 1977.

She authored two books – ‘Fifty Monsoons: Ministry of Change through Women of India’ in 1999 and ‘Impelled by the Love of Christ’ last year. Despite failing health, she completed her second book in August 2011.

“Sister Pat Kelley was a great missionary and a visionary. She envisioned a new way of being a religious in the Indian context,” said Sr. Janice Rathappillil, one of her former novices.

“Sr. Kelley was one of the forerunners in bringing about inculturation in the SCN Community in liturgy and prayer,” said Sr. Alice Chirackanal.