In Memory

Sister Joan Mooney, IHM

January 10, 1925 – April 5, 2009

Sister Joan Mooney, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. Kevina) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Sunday, April 5, 2009 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on January 10, 1925 in Susquehanna, PA, and given the name Joan Agatha. She was the daughter of the late James and Esther Ahearn Mooney. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1942, and made her temporary profession of vows on May 10, 1945, and her final profession of vows on August 3, 1948. Sister Joan was a teacher in both primary grades and high school for fifty years, and was an accomplished artist.

Sister Joan served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Matthew Elementary School in East Stroudsburg, PA, from 1945 to 1946; St. Patrick Elementary School in Olyphant, PA, from 1946 to 1947; St. Mary Elementary School in Manhasset, NY, from 1947 to 1949; IHM Academy in Coeur d’Alene, ID, from 1949 to 1959; Marywood Seminary in Scranton, PA, from 1959 to 1969; and at Maria Regina Diocesan High School in Uniondale, NY, from 1969 to 1978.

Sister also served as an artist at Our Lady of Grace Center in Manhasset, NY, from 1980 to 1982; production manager of the IHM Art Studio in Scranton, PA, from 1982 to 1994 and from 1996 to 2000; support staff member of the Development Office at St. Joseph’s Center in Scranton, PA, from 1978 to 1979; and instructor at the IHM Educational Enrichment Institute at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 1994 to 1996.

From 2000 to the time of her death, Sister Joan was a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and at Our Lady of Peace Residence.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education, and a Master of Science degree in education, both from Marywood College.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Kevin and Harry, and a sister, Mary Byron.

She is survived by a sister-in-law, Helen Mooney of Albany, NY, a brother-in-law, John Byron of Hyannis, MA, nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be Wednesday, April 8, at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Tuesday, April 7, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:30 p.m. Interment will be Wednesday at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA.

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.

Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Fall 2009 issue

When I first met Joan Mooney back in 1967, I thought she was the most intelligent person I ever met. I still do.

Joan had an amazing mind. She could discern the complexities of any problem, analyze them, and point to realistic solutions. She could also read people; she helped in so many cases to bring understanding and reconciliation to difficult circumstances. Perhaps we remember her best for her creative activities, embodied among other gifts to us in the IHM logo.

Born in Susquehanna to James and Esther Ahearn Mooney, Joan entered the congregation in 1942 and was professed in 1945. She taught in several of our congregation’s elementary and secondary schools and provided an amazing range of instruction: art, social studies, math and French! She served as a counselor and a course scheduler at Maria Regina High School, Hempstead, New York, and for almost two decades she was the production manager for the IHM Art Studio.

Vatican II was a delight for Joan! She embraced its hopeful message, especially embodied in Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. The “joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties [of] those who are poor or in any way afflicted” truly became her own. She reached out to community needs with enthusiasm, becoming involved in the regional migrant program and efforts to provide Adult Basic Education to neighbors in need of the service.

She was appointed to the Diocesan Ecumenism Commission and organized parish seminars on the message of Vatican II. In those exciting days all of us were reading Cardinal Suenens’ landmark book, The Nun in the Modern World. We were reading it; she was living it. Joan was a pioneer in our effort to provide “a clear and understandable prophetic witness of the presence of God in our world.” I am sure she is enjoying where her pioneering has led us!

by Margaret Gannon, IHM

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