Living the Faith: Patricia Dineen

CAMBRIDGE -- “How can I repay the Lord for all the good done for me?” (Psalm 116: 12). Patricia Dineen, parishioner at St. Peter Parish in Cambridge, lives her life as an answer to that question.

“Every day I ask myself, ‘What is God’s will right now?’” she told The Pilot, “and then I try to discern that in my life that day.”

For the past decade Dineen and her husband, John Mooney, have served their parish as both lectors and eucharistic ministers. In addition, Dineen is a member of the parish Pastoral Council.

According to Dineen, because they have no children of their own, she and her husband “feel very strongly that we should support other families in the parish.” Because of this, the two often serve at the parish children’s Mass, helping other families with their children.

“St. Peter’s has been a real anchor for us,” she said. “We’ve been welcomed with open arms in the parish, and that is something for which I will be grateful for the rest of my life.”

She praised her pastor, Father Kevin O’Leary, as well as the Jesuit community who lives in the rectory and contributes to the parish’s spirituality.

“We’re very lucky to have the parish in our lives,” she said.

In addition to her involvement in the parish, Dineen, 58, has always relied on her faith in her professional life, hoping to make a difference in the lives of the poor and less fortunate.

As a young woman growing up in Concord, Dineen sought to correct the world’s inequalities through politics, working for a time in Washington D.C. for President Richard Nixon’s administration.

According to Dineen, “[Watergate] destroyed so many of my idealistic notions,” that she kept away from the political scene after that.

“I realized then that academics and business would be closer to my Christian values,” she said.

Currently Dineen serves as managing director of Siguler Guff & Company, a private equity investment firm where she has been given the responsibility of managing the firm’s new private equity BRIC Opportunities Fund.

“The fund invests in businesses in the four economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China,” explained Dineen.

“This job is a dream come true for me,” she said with a smile.

“There is a huge social justice issue in sharing the wealth with the poor,” continued Dineen, adding that she feels called to help the poor in these developing countries through her understanding of economics.

“In creating wealth, it is not often equitably shared,” and that is where discernment takes center stage, she explained.

“Capitalism has its good aspects and its bad aspects, but I do believe that what I am doing is for the greater good,” she said, underscoring that “from a spiritual point of view you need people who are committed to make a difference.”

In her travels to the four countries, Dineen seeks out business leaders who desire to improve the living conditions for all company employees, not just management.

“I always try to encourage those companies and entrepreneurs who are driven not only to make money but to make a difference as well,” she said. “It is infinitely rewarding.”

Rewarding, too, are her ties to her faith. Because she travels extensively, Dineen marvels at the “catholicity” of her faith, noting that wherever her travels take her, “there is always a community of believers who share my faith.”

Also dear to her heart is the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

“It is only in our faith that we can make a mistake, be forgiven, and be given the opportunity to try again,” she said. “I think that’s wonderful.”