Cover photo for Sr. Joanne C. Sullivan, SHCJ's Obituary
Sr. Joanne C. Sullivan, SHCJ Profile Photo

Sr. Joanne C. Sullivan, SHCJ

August 5, 1934 — March 16, 2023

Rosemont, PA

Sr. Joanne C. Sullivan, SHCJ

Educator, Musician, Pastoral Minister, and Spiritual Director

Rosemont, Pennsylvania – Joanne Sullivan, SHCJ, a Sister of the Holy Child Jesus for 67 years, died peacefully on Thursday, March 16, 2023. She was 88.

Catherine Quinn, SHCJ, shared the following about Sister Joanne, who had entered the Society of the Holy Child Jesus the same year as Sister Catherine. “Open and direct, unafraid to ask a question, Joanne was also amiable. A prayerful person, Joanne sought ways to always manifest the spirit of the Holy Child Jesus and that of our Foundress, Cornelia Connelly.”

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Sister Joanne comes from a close-knit, loving family. After graduating from Holy Child Academy in Sharon Hill, Pa., Sister Joanne entered the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, where she made her first and final vows in 1955 and 1960, respectively. She became well known by her religious name, Sister Constance Mary.

Sister Joanne taught for 16 years on the East Coast, including at Saint Edward School in Philadelphia, Pa. (1955-57, 1959-67, and 1970-71), Saint Leonard’s Academy in Philadelphia, Pa. (1957-59), Annunciation School in Washington, D.C. (1967-69), and Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill, Pa. (1969-70).

In 1971, Sister Joanne moved to the West Coast, where she was principal of Saint Rose School in Portland, Ore. (1971-75). She then taught at Cornelia Connelly School of the Holy Child High School in Anaheim, Calif., for three years.

During her novitiate, Sister Joanne was imbued with a spirit of service for the people of West Africa. In 1978, Sister Joanne’s desire to be a missionary was fulfilled. At the age of 44, Sister Joanne was called to serve in the African Province of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. Sister Joanne loved the people of Ghana, often speaking of the impact of their simplicity had on her. On her return to the United States, Sister Joanne taught at School of the Holy Child in Rye, N.Y. (1980-81), before moving to St. Louis, Mo., to study theology. From 1982-85, she served as the director of religious education at Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Alta Loma, Calif.

From 1985-96, Sister Joanne served as campus minister at Rosemont College in Rosemont, Pa., where she organized student liturgies and retreats. The role as campus minister helped to prepare her for the next 10 years when she served as director of the SHCJ Spiritual Center in Rosemont. Sister Joanne delighted in carrying on the important work of the SHCJ Spiritual Center, which was a magnet for people looking for guidance in developing their spiritual lives.

A gifted musician, Sister Joanne was frequently called to perform as organist throughout her years as a Holy Child Sister. While living at Holy Child Center in Rosemont, she also served as a sacristan, liturgist, and spiritual minister. Up until her death, Sister Joanne’s passion to serve and unwavering dedication never diminished.

Sister Joanne earned a Bachelor of Science in education and Master of Arts in theology from Villanova University in 1964 and 1970, respectively.  She earned a certificate in ministry and theology from St. Louis University in St. Louis, Mo., in 1981.

Sister Joanne joins her parents Theodore and Nyle (Stanton) in eternal rest. She is survived by two brothers, Theodore Sullivan and Thomas Sullivan, Thomas’ wife Frances, and nieces Stacy Patane, Michelle Sullivan Bettez, and Cindy Yocum, and many dear grand- and great-grand nieces and nephews.

Friends and family are invited to a prayer service of remembrance on Thursday, March 23, at 4:00 p.m., and a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, March 24, at 11:00 a.m., at Holy Child Chapel, 1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont, PA, 19010. Preceding Mass, friends and family are welcome to attend the viewing at 10:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Society of the Holy Child Jesus – American Province, 1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont, PA 19010, or online at www.shcj.org/american/donate.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sr. Joanne C. Sullivan, SHCJ, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Prayer Service of Remembrance

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Starts at 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Viewing

Friday, March 24, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, March 24, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Burial

Friday, March 24, 2023

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