Sister Joan Campbell

May 7, 1927 – December 12, 2013

Maryknoll, NY Sister Joan Anne Campbell, an educator and headmistress in Tanzania for 35 years, died December 12, 2013, at Maryknoll Sisters Home Care III. She was 86 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 66 years.

Born on May 7, 1927, in Atlantic City, NJ, to James D. and Marie Duffy Campbell, Sister Joan was employed as an assistant bacteriologist at Franklin Sugar Company, Philadelphia, PA, from 1944-45, and an assistant pharmacist at Misericordia Hospital, Philadelphia, from 1945-1947 before entering  Maryknoll from St. Francis de Sales Parish, Philadelphia, on October 30, 1947.

A 1944 graduate of West Catholic Girls High School, Philadelphia,  Sister Joan also attended St. Matthias School, Bala, PA, from 1932-1939, graduating from St. Francis de Sales Schools in 1940.  She went on to receive a B.S. in Pharmacy from Fordham University in 1954, later studying mathematics at Villanova University in 1967 and theology at Maryknoll Seminary from 1974-1975.

Following her first profession of promise on May 8, 1950, at the Maryknoll Sisters residence in Valley Park, MO, Sister Joan was given the religious name Sister Jeanne d’Arc, and was assigned to work at the Motherhouse at Maryknoll, NY, where she served for the next three years, making her final vows on May 8, 1953, at the Motherhouse.

Following graduation from Fordham University in 1954, Sister Joan was assigned to work at Queen of the World Hospital, the first integrated hospital in the United States located in Kansas City, MO. She served there for the next three years.

In 1957,  Sister Joan received her first overseas assignment, teaching and serving as headmistress of Maryknoll Sisters schools throughout Tanzania, including Shinyanga, Morogoro, Makoko-Musoma, Rosana, Isango, and Kurasini, from 1957-1969.

After three years spent in promotion, speaking about the work of Maryknoll Sisters at local parishes and schools in the United States, Sister Joan returned to Tanzania, where she taught religious education at Arusha Seminary from 1972-1976.  She then taught at Fort Wright College, Spokane, WA, in 1976 and 1977, and was assigned to Bolivia later in 1977.

Sister Joan worked in Bolivia until 1981, when she was reassigned to work in Tanzania, joining a Religious Education Team that served the Arusha Diocese.  She, along with another Maryknoll Sister, formed a special renewal program for teachers in the diocese, which included instruction in child psychology, experimental learning, Old and New Testament studies, and church history.

Returning to the Motherhouse in 1992, Sister Joan worked in the congregation’s Mission Projects Funding Office, raising much needed resources for the work of Sisters worldwide until 1995.  She then worked in the Missions Archives office in 1996.

In 1997, Sister Joan returned to Africa, service as director of Maryknoll Sisters’ World Section House in Nairobi, Kenya, until 2000.  In 2001, she returned to the Motherhouse, where she worked in the Direct Mail Special Donors Office and other Congregational Services posts from 2001-2005, and as a volunteer in the congregation’s Rogers Library from 2006-2012.

Sister Joan, who chose to donate her body to science, is survived by a niece, Patricia Giardinelli, of Media, PA, and a sister-in-aw, Patricia Brady Campbell of Drexel Hill, PA.

A Vesper service will be held for Sister Joan on Tuesday, December 17, 2013, at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Memorial Mass on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, both to be held in the Annunciation Chapel at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining.