Parish Volunteers: For Patrick Morrissey, it’s a wonderful life

ABOVE: Patrick Morrissey with his wife, Rosemary, and their grandchildren.

Patrick Morrissey loves his life. He volunteers in our parish and in the community. He loves his faith and his family. Works hard. What more can one ask for?

Family is very important to you. You come from a gang of eight children, have five grown kids of your own and two grandchildren. Why is family No. 1 in your life?

Because other than God, there is nothing more important than my family. The way we love each other, bond and help one another through any situation allowed me to understand what unconditional love is.

When you were young, did you have to battle your siblings for attention?

No. My mother and father got divorced when I was very young. It wasn’t about fighting for attention with my siblings; it was about being there for one another.

As a father and grandfather, what do you hope you’ve passed along to your children and your grandchildren someday?

I hope that my children and grandchildren learned to have a hard work ethic, to not focus on materialistic things in life and to thank God for the blessings that He has provided for us.

Most people who know you understand you are a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs’ fan? You live in the middle of New York state. How did you become a Chiefs’ loyalist?

It was Christmas Day 1969, and I was watching a playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins. Miami kicked the winning field goal, and it was the longest game in NFL history. I felt bad for the Chiefs because they lost the game, and I’ve been a fan of them ever since. And now, 50 years later, we finally made it to the Super Bowl.

You worked as a correction officer for about 30 years. What did you love about the job and what did you dislike?

For an uneducated man, it was good paying job with great benefits. My wife and I had just started our family and the job allowed me to still be heavily involved in my family’s life. When it comes to the dislikes about the job, I mean it was prison.

How has law enforcement changed over the years?

The thing about being in law enforcement is that you have to be flexible and willing to change with the new societal standards. I was certainly not using the same tactics at the end of my career as I was taught in the academy when I first got the job.

You love working with kids. You coached the Mount Carmel CYO basketball team to the city title in 2003; coached Mount Carmel East T-ball and baseball, Ed Hinko baseball and Dick Miller girls’ and boys’ basketball; and were a Cub Scout Leader. How did you get into working with kids and why do you love it so much?

My kids were participating in all of these programs as well. I decided to coach/lead these things because I wanted to be as involved as I could in my kids’ lives. Instead of being the parent complaining on the side lines, I stepped up.

In our parish, you volunteer. You currently work alongside our parish buildings and grounds caretaker, you pitch in with the festival and other events. What does this parish mean to you?

This parish means everything to me. I got married here, my kids made all of the sacraments here, and it is the place that I have always worshipped my God. Volunteering for the festival and working alongside the buildings and grounds caretaker is the least I could do for this parish after all it has done for me. I will always feel like I can and should be doing more for my parish and I will continue to do anything that is asked of me by my fellow parishioners and Father.

Why is it important for people to volunteer their time and talent?

There is a constant demand for volunteers within the community and parish. There is a sense of tradition with volunteering and giving back to your community. No matter what age, we all have something to give back. 

Earlier this year there was a health scare in your family? What did you learn from that and what advice do you have for people who undergo similar circumstances?

I think the most important thing I’ve learned and would tell others is that no matter what the circumstance is or how hard it may be, we have to try to be compassionate. Above all else, love and compassion are most important. We aren’t on Earth for very long, but the memory of how we treated others lingers.

How would you describe Patrick Morrissey Sr.

I would describe myself as, simply, a person who tries live life one day at a time. 

Patrick Morrissey

  • Age: 62.
  • Family: Married 39 years to Rosemary. Children Patrick Jr., Jenae, Danielle, Maria and Michael. Grandchildren Patrick lll and Kelsey. 
  • Education: Graduated from Whitesboro Central School system.
  • Past employment: Village of Whitesboro Highway Department from 1977-1987; New York State Department of Correctional Services correction officer from 1987-2017.
  • Things I like to do in my spare time: Look for sharks’ teeth at the ocean, fish, spend time with my family, love my pool and the beach, volunteer at church, talking to the elderly, asking people a lot of questions, studying history.
  • Favorite movie: “It’s A Wonderful Life”
  • Favorite TV shows: “NYPD Blue,” “The Office.”
  • Favorite book: Any Dean Koontz novel.