In Memoriam: Sister Joanne Whalen, D.C.
Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul Sister Joanne Whalen died April 30, 2016 at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton, Mo. Sister donated her body to science. A Memorial Mass for Sister will be celebrated at The Sarah Community’s Marian Chapel on Friday, May 13 at 5:30 PM. Sister celebrated 53 years vocation as a Daughter of Charity in June of 2015.
Sister Joanne was born December 28, 1930 in Chicago, Ill. Sister was one of six children born to James Anthony and Virginia (Greening) Whalen. Sister Joanne was a 1949 graduate of Josephinum High School in Chicago. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in French from Rosary College, River Forest, Ill., in 1953; and she earned her Master of Arts Degree in Special Education from Cardinal Stritch College, Milwaukee, Wis., in 1971.
Sister complete college and worked several years become entering the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in St. Louis in June of 1962. Following initial formation, Sister Joanne taught at St. Stephen Grade School in New Orleans, (1963 to 1965); St. Michael School in New Orleans where she served as Special Education Teacher (1965 to 1968); Our Lady of Grace Child Center in St. Louis, Mo., where she served as an Educational Therapist (1968 to 1972); St. Louise de Marillac School in St. Louis, (1972 to 1973); St. Joseph Grade School in New Orleans, (1973 to 1975); our Lady of the Valley School in El Paso, Tex., (1975 to 1978); and Amanda Burke School in Cotulla, Tex., where Sister ministered as a Title 1 Teacher and then Reading Teacher (1978 to 1981). Sister then served as a Docent at the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Md., (1981 to 1982). She then taught at St. Vincent Grade School in Perryville, Mo., (1982 to 1987). Sister was then missioned to Cameron Park Colonia in Brownsville, Tex., to teach English as a Second Language, (1987 to 1988). She then served at St. Leo Parish, San Antonio, Tex., as Social Services Coordinator (1988 to 1999). Sister next ministered at the Education Center of Region XX as a GED-Adult Education Teacher in San Antonio, (1999 to 2006). From 2006 to 2008, Sister Joanne served as Assistant at The Sarah Community. In 2008, she joined the Ministry of Prayer at The Sarah Community, and she served there until the time of her death.
Sister Joanne was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Frank Whalen, John Whalen, and James Whalen. She is survived by her brother, Robert K. Whalen of Prescott, Ariz.; and her sister, Mary V. Whalen of Chicago, Ill.; many nieces and nephews, and her Sisters in Community.