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Sister Patricia Flattery, CND, Representative to the United Nations and to UNANIMA International

“We do so much more together than we do separately.”

Sr. Patricia Flattery

Sister Patricia Flattery says that living in community as a CND is serving her well in her new ministry at the United Nations where she represents the Congrégation de Notre-Dame.

She began her ministry in September 2019.

She learned right away that “collaboration and partnerships are key to this ministry.” She participates in three groups that represent an array of religious congregation NGOs.

  • UNANIMA International is a non-governmental organization (NGO) with consultative status that advocates on behalf of women with children/girls, the homeless, displaced migrants, and refugees.
  • Justice Coalition of Religious, or JCoR, 19 non-governmental organizations of over 200 congregations of women and men religious at the UN. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for people living in poverty and enhance our stewardship of the natural environment.
  • Religious at the UN or RUN is a supportive coalition of almost 50 women and men religious and their lay colleagues who meet on the first Wednesday morning each month for shared prayer, reflection, educational input, sharing of information and support.

Sr. Pat has long known that “We can do so much more together than we do separately.” And at the UN, she observes, “you don’t do anything on your own.” Sr. Pat worked on the RUN team who drafted a statement from Faith Based Organizations on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the UN in Fall 2020.

Sr. Pat’s virtual partnerships extend around the globe. At an online meeting, attendees may come from as far away as India, Central America, Canada, or the Philippines. “We could never have the presence on our own that we have in collaboration with other communities of women and men religious.”


A Sister of the Congregation of Notre Dame since 1961, Sr. Pat says she welcomes “the adventure of change. Change gives us opportunities to go to areas where we might not have gone prior to Vatican II (1962-65).” A native of Manhattan, Sr. Pat has served in education ministries and province service in Rhode Island, New York and Connecticut. She also taught English for two years in Japan.

Sr. Pat says she takes comfort and sustenance from other CNDs. “We are all in this together – till our last breath. We count on one another for love and support and prayer.”