Spring 2014 Magazine - Immaculata University - page 26

I MMA C U L ATA MA G A Z I N E * S P R I N G 2 0 1 4
That was the advice Patty Canterino’s ’92, ’12 M.A.
parents gave as they sent their daughter off to college at Im-
maculata. Though she had been awarded a basketball schol-
arship and had been taught by the IHM Sisters since first
grade, Canterino was reluctant to leave her family to live as
a resident at a small, all-women’s school. “I wanted to stay
at home and commute to a larger, coed university,” she said.
“But my parents, who very rarely pushed us, insisted that I
enter Immaculata, live on campus, and give it a chance.”
Not surprisingly, Canterino spent the first few
weekends of her freshman year returning to the familiar
comforts of home, but the transition period quickly came to
an end. “I remember calling home one week and my brother
answered the phone and he said to me, ‘I’ve got good new
and bad news. The good news is Mom and Dad still love
you. The bad news is…they’re not coming to get you.’ It was
from then on that I made my very best friends. I’m still very
close with some of my classmates. When you make friends
here, they become friends for life.”
That transformative moment led Canterino to embark
on a journey that would bring her back to the very school
she so hesitantly entered as an undergrad. “By the time I
left Immaculata,” she said, “I knew I wanted to return to
coach here.”
After graduating with a bachelor’s in psychology and a
minor in education, Canterino taught third grade at Most
Blessed Sacrament School in the inner city and coached
basketball in the afternoons at St. Maria Goretti High
School in South Philly.
“I loved teaching and all of my jobs have been con-
nected with the IHM Sisters. They have been a part of
my life since I entered grade school. I had great parents
who helped me become who I am today, who provided me
with wonderful opportunities, who saw what was best for
me when I couldn’t see it myself. But Immaculata and the
Sisters gave me the confidence to do whatever I wanted to
do. I wanted to give back in some small way.”
One year after Canterino left Immaculata, Canterino’s
father passed away unexpectedly, and Canterino recalls
with gratitude how the friends she made at IC supported
her, her mother and her brothers through that extraordi-
narily difficult time. “My friends were there for me, for all
of us,” she said. “They were at our house for months because
they knew how hard it was.”
Canterino also stayed in close touch with Sister Catarin
Conjar, IHM, who was vice president for Student Affairs
at the time, regularly inquiring if there were any positions
available. “Sister Catarin was a tremendous leader. She
had this amazing gift of getting people to work together to
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