Brother Patrick Corr, O.H. 1914-2017
Brother Patrick was born Thomas Corr on April 27, 1914 in County Kilkenny, Ireland. He was in the dry good business for several years before entering the brotherhood as a postulant in 1939. At that time Br. Patrick Corr’s recognizable concern for his family and his neighbors, especially the elderly and the sick, led him to the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God. He was 26 years old when he took the Hospitaller Brothers’ vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and hospitality.
In 1945, in Blackrock, County Dublin, as a young Brother, he received his diploma in psychiatric nursing and was trained to nurse and teach mentally handicapped children. It was then, when his Provincial announced that he was being transferred to Los Angeles, where the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God was pioneering to establish a nursing home for men of long-term sickness and incurable diseases. Since his arrival, in 1946, Bro. Patrick has served at St. John of God Retirement & Care Center, on West Adams Boulevard at Western Ave., Los Angeles. Upon his arrival, Bro. Patrick was requested to start raising funds. In 1968, he was elected provincial and served in that capacity for six years.
Brother Patrick’s most enthusiastic reminiscences are his richest stories of his encounters with the innumerable Los Angeles’ families, their brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends who have supported the work of the Brothers. With gratitude, sincerity, simplicity and directness, reflecting the fidelity and constancy of his community, he tells of the generous, charitable and caring people God has put in his way. If you could look at the whole story at a glance, the life of Br. Patrick Corr, is a testimony of one very simple principle given to us by our founding father St. John of God. He implored all he met to trust in God alone. In the most interior depths of the spiritual life of Br. Patrick he believed that the Almighty God has given us good people to help us along.
His fundamental orientation to the care of the sick was that in caring for Christ himself, a spirituality that was handed down by many generations of Hospitallers. Br. Patrick intuitively knew that in doing good for others you would be kind to yourself and grow in God’s love and mercy and we gave them the opportunity to do great good that God wants them to do.