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"Mission is always part of our lives”

A photo of Sister Joan DiProspere

Sister Joan DiProspere returned to St. Louis, following four years of service at the Generalate in Rome. She was called there to serve as coordinator of the Local Community and Generalate House. In 2016, when Sister Joan made the decision to go to Rome for her next ministry, she felt it came at the right time. She shared, “I had just completed my term on the Central Pacific Provincial Council. I then spent three weeks in Hungary teaching English and returned to St. Louis for retreat and to discern my next ministry. That was the moment in time when I was asked to consider the ministry as coordinator of the Generalate. It seems this call to risk ministering in another country came at the right time in my life.” Sister Joan also felt a deep connection to Italy because her father was Italian. She had always wanted to go, but thought it would never actually happen.

While living and working in another country can seem like a daunting task, Sister Joan approached her new ministry with an open mind and heart. She had the opportunity to visit many new places and make many new friends. Sister Joan said, “Being part of the Generalate community gave me a better understanding of other cultures, such as traditions, foods, values, prayer styles and languages, and first-hand experiences with sisters from other countries. I am grateful that I met many sisters from provinces other than North America and to be able to have the pleasure of knowing two classes of novices. One of the biggest challenges for me was the language. Although I was blessed with time to study Italian, I never felt that I could adequately communicate well with others. A photo of Sister Joan DiProspere lighting candles in Rome.While the main culture in Rome is Italian, the combining of many other cultures at the Generalate contribute to the reality of intercultural living and is a rich experience of our international congregation.”

Sister Joan is currently living at Sancta Maria in Ripa in St. Louis. Due to COVID-19, she will remain on campus for sabbatical. She will continue to take courses online in order to maintain her counseling license. Sister Joan said, “You know we never really retire – mission is always part of our lives even though our ministry changes.” In all, Sister Joan it truly grateful for her experience in Rome. “It has been a grace to live in community with many sisters and to minister with many sisters and lay co-workers. My world expanded from my small family in south St. Louis to a world of other cities, states and countries.


Read more reflections of sisters returning from ministries throughout the years.


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