Meet Our Founder



Motto: “A teaspoon of honey is more effective than a tablespoon of vinegar.”

One of 14 children of Irish Catholic parents throughout her life, she has been devoted to helping children and families. She entered the convent during her senior year of high school and was given the name “Sister Mary Xavier” after a deceased Mother General of the community. 

Sister is well educated with a Double Masters in education and Pastoral studies.

After much prayer and a week’s retreat at the Trappist monastery … the decision was made, by the grace of God, that Sister Patricia O’Bryan (Sister Pat to most) was to continue her work for the children, thus requiring her to leave the Sisters of St. Joseph in order to continue the Mission to help needy children through Edelweiss House, which she founded and currently directs. With the permission of Arch-bishop Buechlein, OSB, Sister Pat renewed her vows in the witness of her parish pastor.

While not a Sister in the traditional sense, that is, living with a group of vowed women, she lives the vowed life and fulfills the Mission to care for needy children, teaching them “life skills” to become the best person they can be. As these children are reunited with their parent(s), they are better prepared to meet the challenges in their little world having some powerful “tools” and knowing that God loves them and is with them.

Vowed in the trenches, Sister Pat is making the difference in the lives for Kids and Families with her “Teaspoon of sugar vs a Tablespoon of vinegar” philosophy and way of life.