Patrick Francis Sheridan passed away at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx on Tuesday, August 11th. He was 80 years old. Born of two Irish immigrants, William Sheridan and Bridget Connell Sheridan, in the Bronx, he leaves behind a number of cousins and their families, including Fr. Seamus Connell of Dublin, Ireland, and countless friends. He is pre-deceased by his parents and his brothers, William Sheridan and Brother Michael Sheridan, CFC. Patrick’s long career journey included work in youth ministry for the Archdiocese of New York, 25 years as a ‘midnight shift’ emergency room nurse in various hospitals in the Bronx, and as a Doorman at 210 W. 78th St. in Manhattan, retiring in February 2015. As a dedicated nurse, Pat received rewards for outstanding service from the NYPD, as well as from the NYC Health Department, because of his astute diagnosis of a patient suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning and then alerting the health department, so that they could intervene and save the other residents of the apartment house from a faulty furnace. The 19 years he spent as a Doorman did not diminish his passion for serving people and he embraced that task with similar energy and devotion, not only serving the residents with great dedication, but also befriending himself to all those who passed by. The students from Collegiate School who passed the apartment building found in him a mentor and a friend. As they were graduating, Pat often would learn of their choice of university and surprise them with a hat from their new alma mater. In their moments of trial, for example, when they lost a student in a traffic accident, he was present to them in their pain. He brought cases of water to construction workers, laboring nearby. He helped drivers looking for precious parking spaces. He took great care in delivering packages inside apartments to keep them safe and watch over residents’ mail and apartments while they were away. When he saw sad faces, he would approach them and extend a hand of friendship, often asking, “When was the last time you jumped up and down about life?” One such passerby was Michael Kelton, whose popular Beyond radio podcast has run feature stories on Patrick, calling him his ‘guardian angel’. At a very difficult time in his life, Michael found in Patrick unconditional friendship and support and a seemingly prophetic prediction of good fortune, which, he is convinced, helped him find life anew. Patrick often recalled a couple of sayings his good mother left with him: “Money is like butter; it is no good, unless it is spread around.” When my brother Matthew died suddenly, my nephew Luke reminded Pat that on more than one occasion his dad would announce at dinner that they were eating that night because of the kind generosity of Pat Sheridan … just one of many examples I could share. Another favorite saying of his mother was, “Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you.” He lived that saying with a passion. Patrick Francis Sheridan was a giver. He gave of himself to his family: when his mother needed home care, he would come home from the hospital, sometimes after a double shift in a Bronx emergency room, and tend to her most personal needs; when his brother Michael struggled with cancer, he would take the trip each day for some two years from Manhattan in order to be at his bedside in a NJ hospital, thanks to the hospitality of one of Michael’s former students, Steve Lazarus. He gave of himself to his friends: when the author of this bio suffered a ruptured appendix, he woke up from surgery to find nurse Pat at his side 150 miles north of his home, having taken time off and risking a new job at a Bronx hospital. He gave of himself in his work, telling the administrators of one hospital that they should take the Crucifixes off the wall, because they were not serving their patients well. In all that he did, Pat gave generously of himself and, as Saint Teresa of Calcutta reminded us often, he found great joy in the giving. The students at Collegiate School made him an honorary member of their school community, when they elected him ‘Man of the Year’ for their yearbook. Patrick Sheridan could have just as well been an honorary member of the St. Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, because that is very much who he was, a missionary of charity, a missionary of God’s love. It is important to note that in a very real way Pat’s mother’s words about ‘giving the world the best you have …’ proved true in his life. When this ‘good Samaritan’ to anyone and everyone came to his hour of need, God sent him a caretaker, who tended to his needs with great love and care. God sent him Anthony Garcia. From 4000+ miles away I am very grateful to Anthony for responding to God’s call and encircling this elderly man with the type of compassion he himself had doled out to so many during his life. Patrick’s enormous heart longed for love, as we all do. He would often say to friends and strangers alike, as he invited a hug, “Give me some Jesus!” When he found a willing partner, he would respond, “Wow!” I can only imagine the “Wow”, he’s shouting out now, as the good and generous Lord gives this bear of a man a bear hug par excellence, even as He whispers in his ear, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and enjoy the Kingdom I have prepared for you, where hugs are plentiful and the Love you shared so well reigns!” Amen, my friend and brother Patrick Francis Sheridan!
Visiting will be Saturday from 9am to 11am at Joseph A. Lucchese Funeral Home, 726 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx. Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday at 11:15am at Our Lady of Solace Church, 731 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx. Interment will be private.