How a Catholic nun became a CHIP evangelist


Three years ago, 71-year-old Pat Quinn was suffering from pain and chronic disease. As she sat at home, she wondered if she would ever be able to return to the work that she loved. After a lifetime of serving others as a Missionary Sister of Service within the Catholic Church, her now-sedentary lifestyle was a bitter pill to swallow.

Sister Pat had struggled with obesity for as long as she could remember and hip replacement surgery that kept her off her feet only served to make matters worse. Attempts to diet also proved futile.

I feel like I am 50 without the pain I had in my body when I was 50.

“I’ve tried every diet there ever was—I could write the book on diets!” she exclaims. “Every diet left me hungry and none of them made a long-term difference to my health.”

Sister Pat believes it was providential that she saw an article in a Toowoomba newspaper, The Chronicle, outlining the experience of Gill, who had participated in a local Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP). Encouraged by Gill’s testimony, Sister Pat enrolled in the CHIP program with a commitment to adhere to the program for one month. 

She was delighted to find that CHIP’s recommended whole food and plant-based eating pattern left her feeling satisfied. She lost five kilos in that month and committed to adopting the CHIP lifestyle for the rest of her life.

Three years later, Sister Pat has lost an impressive 40 kilos. At the age of 74, she states, “I feel like I am 50 without the pain I had in my body when I was 50.” In February 2013, Sister Pat attended a CHIP summit at Avondale College and enrolled in CHIP Facilitators Training in December. Eager to help spread the word about the program and its benefits, she convinced the Glenvale Seventh-day Adventist church in Toowoomba to run another CHIP program for the community. 

Hearing of Sister Pat’s testimony, The Chronicle published a major feature article telling her story and promoting the upcoming program.

At the CHIP celebration for the Glenvale program on April 6, more than half of the 37 graduates indicated that they had attended the program because of Sister Pat’s influence. People also attended programs in Stanthorpe and Caboolture after hearing her story.

Sister Pat, a Missionary Sister of Service, has truly become a CHIP evangelist.