In Memory

Sister Janice Heisey, IHM

September 28, 1930 – November 30, 2020

Sister Janice Heisey, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. Josefita) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Monday, November 30, 2020, at Regional Hospital of Scranton in Scranton, PA.

She was born on September 28, 1930, in Baltimore, MD, and given the name Janice Loretta. She was the daughter of the late Daniel and Mary Loretta Herbert Heisey. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 7, 1948, made temporary profession of her vows on May 8, 1951, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1954.

Sister Janice served as a teacher at the following schools: St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Pittston, PA, from 1951 to 1955; St. John High School in Susquehanna, PA, from 1955 to 1958; St. John the Evangelist High School in Pittston, PA, from 1958 to 1964 and 1973 to 1974; Cathedral High School in Scranton, PA, from 1964 to 1966; and Maria Regina High School in Uniondale, NY, from 1966 to 1969.

Sister served as principal at the following schools: West Scranton Catholic High School in Scranton, PA, from 1969 to 1971; and Bishop Hannon High School in Scranton, PA, from 1971 to 1973.

She also served as a census taker in Sacred Heart Parish in Mt. Holly, NJ, from 1974 to 1975; lab technologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Carbondale, PA, from 1975 to 1984; coordinator of the medical clinic at Brooklyn Health Center in Brooklyn, NY, from 1984 to 1985; and dental coordinator at the Spanish Catholic Center in Washington, DC, from 1985 to 2015.

From 2015 until the time of her death, Sister Janice served as a prayer minister at St. John the Evangelist Convent in Silver Spring, MD, and later at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry and science/ history from Marywood College, and a Master of Science degree in chemistry and physics from University of Notre Dame.

She is preceded in death by a sister, Bernice Mary Meyers.

She is survived by two brothers, Paul Herbert of Port St. Lucie, FL, and Daniel Joseph of Waynesboro, VA, two sisters, Sister Daniel Mary, IHM of Scranton, PA, and Mary Frances Henry of Port St. Lucie, FL, nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

Interment will be at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA. Due to restrictions related to the coronavirus, the funeral mass and graveside service are private.

Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired IHM Sisters c/o the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.

Funeral Mass: Sister Janice Hersey, Funeral, December 4, 2020 (

Combined Vespers Prayer Service:

Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Spring 2021 issue

Sister Janice Heisey, IHM

Reflection given by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM Congregation President, at Sister’s funeral on Friday, December 4, 2020:

Healing depends on faith. Let today’s hurt heal
me. Let today’s joy heal me. Let my healing
travel beyond my own boring [troubles].
Let my trust embrace friends and unknown
people who struggle with the mystery of pain
and inadequacy… failure and collapse…
Let it worship in the strong, resilient hearts of
people who greet each day at the front door and
ask it in. Lord, I believe, or at least I want to.
I accept, or at least I want to.

Miriam Pollard, OCSO, The Listening God

Those who knew Janice well would surely say that she was a woman whose entire life bore witness to these words of writer Sister Miriam Pollard, OCSO. A lifetime of steadfast trust in and love for her God opened the inward spaces of her heart to the mystery of living each moment to its fullest and welcoming each person as a unique and precious gift. Her own willing “yes” every day was born in the depths of her soul-searching, lived experiences and her deep prayer relationship with her loving God. Her spirit of kind acceptance and welcome, reinforced by the warmth of her beautiful smile and
her gentle presence of calm, attracted others who felt richly blessed to know her. No one remained a stranger in Janice’s presence. She possessed a courageous strength of will but more importantly, she possessed strength of character, and those who lived and worked with her were drawn by that integrity. She was a steadfast advocate for those most in need in our society and was unrelenting in her efforts to find ways to make lives even just a little better. Her presence was a living example of God’s unconditional love for all.

After entering the IHM congregation, Janice received her undergraduate degree in chemistry and science/history from Marywood College and a master’s degree in chemistry and physics from the University of Notre Dame. She ministered for twenty-three years as an elementary school
teacher, and then a high school teacher and principal in schools in Pennsylvania and New York. Her spirit of kindness, generosity, caring, and profound respect for all was combined with a keen intelligence and an undying commitment to learning and to her students, faculty, and parents. The overriding goal of Janice during these years, and indeed throughout her entire life, was her determination to help others see themselves, and be seen by others, as persons of value and dignity. That fundamental belief was evidenced in Mt. Holly, NJ, where Janice worked as a census taker, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Carbondale, where she served as a lab technologist, at the medical center in Brooklyn, NY, where she was coordinator, and at the D.C. Spanish Catholic Center, where for twenty-seven years she served as dental coordinator.

Janice had many gifts, for sure, but her real passion was in her direct, hands-on outreach and care for people in need. She found her niche when she arrived at the D.C. Spanish Catholic Center’s Dental Clinic in 1985. She quickly became known in the area for her hard work and care for the people there, and was awarded the 1994 D.C. Dental Society’s Humanitarian of the Year Award. She received many other recognitions during her years there, but her successor as administrator of the clinic, Lucciola Lambruschini, wrote what I think Janice would be most humbled, yet proud to hear: “She impacted us as human beings, not only by assisting those in need, but by showing us how to contribute for a better world… she was an influencer, always one step ahead… she will be missed and always remembered.”

A former IHM wrote that Janice was her sponsor and mentor who always had time for her when she needed an encouraging word or guidance when going through a difficult time following the death of her father. Karen wrote, “And now, we bury her and we’ll have a guardian angel. That gives me comfort.”

We bring thoughts of Janice’s goodness, determination, and gentleness to our prayer today as we also remember very specially her parents, Mary Loretta and Herbert, and her sister, Bernice, who now welcome her home to the eternal celebration of God’s love, where she knows the fullness of peace and joy she so richly deserves – and where she has an eternal window through which she can keep a watchful eye on her beloved Dental Clinic and her family!

We pray in a special way today for those who will miss Janice dearly, especially her sisters, Daniel Mary and Mary Frances, and brothers, Daniel and Paul, her nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, her IHM sisters and associates, especially those who lived with her in Household 4C, her many friends, her former coworkers at her beloved Spanish Catholic Center’s Dental Clinic, and all those who shared life and friendship with Janice.

In some way, I think that at the heart of what Janice taught us was her boundless trust in God and her desire to reflect God’s love for all, especially the most vulnerable, within whatever circumstances she encountered. She taught us many lessons through her lived life that we would do well to follow: let us not think we are better or more important than others less fortunate than ourselves; leave room for the surprises and gifts of others and God to fill our lives and expand our limited vision; acknowledge the losses and failures that occur in our lives but don’t allow them to define us or prevent us from reaching out to help others; trust in the promise of God’s love every day.

We will miss Janice and her gentle, caring presence. The words of Sister Miriam remind us again of the faith and trust and hope in which Janice believed:

Healing depends on faith. Let today’s hurt
heal me. Let today’s joy heal me…
Let my trust embrace friends and unknown
people who struggle with the mystery of pain
and inadequacy… failure and collapse…
Let it worship in the strong, resilient hearts of
people who greet each day at the front door
and ask it in.

Janice’s strong, resilient heart greeted us each day and her generous love transformed countless lives. She brought God’s healing mission to others
through her presence and ministry of inviting others to let that love make a difference in their lives. We are forever grateful for the difference Janice made in our lives. I now ask Daniel Mary to place the scriptures on Janice’s casket, for she heard the Word of God; indeed, she staked her life upon it, and received life to the full… the Word now beckons Janice home.

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