A dynamic woman named Miriam makes history

Sister Miriam McMullen-Pastrick was named among the Dynamic Dozen honored at the Women Making History 2017 annual event sponsored by the Mercy Center for Women and held on April 4. For the past 25 years 12 phenomenal women from Erie County have been recognized each year. Miriam is now counted among them because she, too, has made a difference in the lives of countless people.

“My passion is public speaking,” declares Miriam whenever she describes her life’s work. That life of dedication to communication has taken many forms through the years: high school forensics, speech communications with collegians, and adult learning classes and workshops. This commitment has allowed Miriam to touch the lives of thousands throughout her personal and professional life. Miriam is a born teacher. The academic world of Penn State—The Behrend College has been her teaching home for the past 25 years. Her energy is sparked daily by her dynamic and dedicated students.

As an Erie Benedictine Miriam supports the community’s corporate commitment to women, both personally and professionally. She has expanded her teaching outside the formal classroom to arenas such as Mercy Center for Women, ErieDAWN, the Chautauqua Institute, Porreco Center, and the Hamot Health Connection, sharing her knowledge of civility, guided imagery, conflict management, dream analysis and contemplative prayer, and codependency with adult women.

Miriam expressed her gratitude for being chosen as one of the Dynamic Dozen, and said: “I am honored to be one of the women recognized by Mercy Center for Women. Any success that is mine has resulted from Divine Inspiration, excellent role models and dogged determination.” In addition she shared the wisdom that has inspired her in the form of two specific quotes, one from John Wesley, the other from Joan Chittister:

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can. –John Wesley

Don’t be afraid to speak the truth … be afraid of what will happen if you do not speak. –Joan Chittister

“It was a wonderful evening of affirmation and celebration of 12 amazing women,” said Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. “Miriam was nominated for the honor because she met the criteria of dedicated service, honesty, integrity, strong values, courage of personal convictions and commitment to women’s issues. As a Benedictine sister she does this in her service to God’s people and as an advocate for the poor and for women in the church and society. We could not be more proud.”

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