Pasquale Terminello was the second eldest of four boys born to Italian migrants Domenico and Anna Terminello from Plati, Reggio Calabria.
After living a few years in the city, the family settled in Queen Street, Norwood, where together with his brothers Joe, Frank and Dom, Pasquale lived until his adult years.
Pasquale attended Norwood Primary School where he developed the nickname Patsy, which evolved into Pat, a name he was affectionately known as for the rest of his life.
Getting into mischief with his cousin Pat and friend Michael at school were regular occurrences. During spinach season, his mother would make minestra rolls to take to school for lunch from the spinach growing in the backyard. Growing tired of this lunch quickly, Pat made a deal with his friend Tony who, being a good Calabrese boy, loved his minestra. Pat struck a win-win deal, swapping his minestra roll for two schillings, which would get him a finger bun, pie and sausage roll. Pat was very disappointed when spinach season ended.
It was this fun-loving personality that remained with Pat his whole life. His infectious personality made others gravitate towards him.
Pat was blessed by God with the gifts of joy and love, which he used to serve with humility and integrity. After completing his secondary schooling at Norwood High, he graduated from Adelaide University with a Degree in Science and later acquired a Diploma of Education.
In 1975, the Josephite sisters of Mary MacKillop College welcomed Pat into their community. At the age of 22 he began his ministry as a Science, Maths, Italian Culture and Biology teacher, before becoming Science coordinator and Year 12 coordinator.
Pat was appointed deputy principal of the college in 1987 and later become co-principal with Heather Carey in 2001. He served at the school for 35 years before leaving the community he cherished in 2010. From 2012 to 2019 he was assistant principal Religious Identity and Mission at Mercedes College. His impact on staff and students at both colleges was evident in the outpouring of grief on social media after his death.
Past scholars described Pat as a ‘man of personal and professional integrity’, ‘an innovative leader’ and one who would ‘preserve and protect’.
Pat was a man of relationships, the light who through the Holy Spirit instilled meaning, worth and hope in the lives he touched.
Endeared by these qualities, his spiritual leadership shone through. As a leader, he served by example, with an incredible work ethic, seeing his work as a vocation. He lifted those around him, seeing their strengths and helping them shine.
More than a leader, he was a friend who served those around him. In his time of leadership, the community of Mary MacKillop College was like a family. As a true Josephite, Pat, a volunteer at the Mary MacKillop Museum in recent times, could ‘never see a need without doing something about it’.
He was never one to draw attention to his achievements, but he accomplished much.
As a young man, he was influential in establishing the Italian Tertiary Students Association which, with Pat’s guidance, was responsible for initiating the first Italian Festival in 1976.
As well as his ability to connect and develop relationships with others which added to the success of Mary MacKillop College, Pat was also responsible for the establishment of the school’s much-needed gymnasium.
He helped coordinate the hugely successful Mary MacKillop the Musical at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
In January 1995, Pat organised two busloads of pilgrims including students, staff, families and friends to Sydney for the beatification of Mary MacKillop. As part of the pilgrimage, Pat organised for them to visit the tomb of the now canonised St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. Fittingly, he was honoured to receive Holy Eucharist from Pope Saint John Paul II at the Beatification Mass at Randwick.
In 2011 Pat’s name was put forward to the Magisterium in Rome as someone suitable for knighthood of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He was approved and knighted by Grand Master Archbishop Philip Wilson on the Feast of Our Lady of Palestine in October 2011.
First and foremost, Pat was a family man and at the tender age of 17, he first laid eyes on the love of his life, Maria Chitti, when his older brother Joe became engaged to Maria’s older sister, Teresa. He recounted this occasion with much delight to his children and always said it was love at first sight. The two developed a strong bond over the next few years, sharing a devotional faith in God.
In 1979, Maria succumbed to Pat’s charms and wavy hair and they were married in Christ the King Church, Lockleys.
In 1980, their first son, Anthony, was born and this would be the beginning of Pat’s greatest calling in life, as a father; a calling that Pat heard six times – Paul in 1984, Adrian in 1987, Anne-Louise in 1989 and Rachel Josephine in 1992.
After returning from the beatification of Mary MacKillop in 1995, Maria announced to Pat that she was pregnant. He soon discovered that while at the tomb of Mary MacKillop his son, Paul, had prayed for another baby brother. Pat immediately looked at Paul and said, ‘if your prayers are so potent, couldn’t you have prayed to win the lottery!’ On October 21 1995, Maria gave birth to their sixth child, Peter.
Pat knew in many ways he did win the lottery, sharing a very strong father and son relationship. His devotion to Peter saw him attending soccer matches and sneaking in a Maccas run on the way home.
With a strong devotion to the Holy Family, Pat modelled himself on one of his favourite holy men, St Joseph. Maria fondly remembers Pat as a gentle, loving and faithful husband. One of their most precious memories was a pilgrimage to Holy Sites throughout Europe.
In his spare time, Pat enjoyed watching some of his favourite sports teams. Other than his children’s soccer clubs, he was a fan of Adelaide City in the national league and later Adelaide United in the new A-League. But nothing gave him greater pride than his beloved Redlegs in the SANFL.
Pat faithfully served the St Francis of Assisi Newton parish. For several years he was coordinator of the Sunday School preparing children for their sacraments. He attended Mass weekly, often daily in retirement, and until very recently, was still a reader of the Word. He was the epitome of the Franciscan way of life through his humility and faith and had strong devotion to the Capuchin order. His wife’s gentle nature and love of Mary instilled the same devotion and Pat would lead his family, honouring the Holy Family and Sacred Heart in his home.
His children have developed a strong faith and attend Church every Sunday. It was Pat’s example that shed the light for them. It was not through fear, but through love, that his children discovered the love of Christ. With Maria by his side, this was Pat’s greatest legacy. One that will be passed on to Pat’s seven grandchildren whom he doted over.
When Pat’s health deteriorated this year he suffered mostly in silence. The little he had left in the tank, he shared with those he loved.
In his last month, the family was blessed to see him laugh again, to go out and enjoy a meal. His quick wit and brotherly banter had one last, glorious hurrah and he left while the family was praying together, as he would have wanted.
In the words of one of his favourite saints, Padre Pio, ‘How many gifts, how many good things, how many miracles you gave me. What a great mystery. Thank you, my Lord.’
– Taken from the family eulogy
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