Maryknoll, NY: Sister Joan Ratermann died on February 1, 2018. She was 91 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 72 years.
Joan was born on July 6, 1926 in St. Louis, MO to Katherine (Huelsmann) Ratermann and George Ratermann. She had two sisters Mary and Elizabeth and two brothers, George (a Maryknoll Priest) and David Ratermann (Monsignor of the St. Louis Diocese). Her parents, two brothers and her sister, Mary have predeceased her.
Joan graduated from Notre Dame High School in St. Louis in 1944 and then worked in secretarial jobs for over a year. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation in Ossining, NY from St .Liborius Parish in St. Louis on September 6, 1945. At her reception into the Congregation she received the religious name Sister Vincent de Paul. She made her First Profession of Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Center on March 7, 1948 and her Final Vows on March 7, 1951, also at the Sisters Center. From 1947 – 1951, she attended Maryknoll Teachers College and earned a Bachelor of Education Degree; she then earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Guidance at St. Louis University from 1969 -1970.
In 1951, Sister Joan received her first overseas assignment to Chile, where she spent the next 53 years serving as primary school teacher, school principal, high school teacher, retreat director and spiritual counselor. In 1973, she began work with youth and adults as part of a retreat team and became advisor to prayer groups in the Talcahuano Parish, La Asunción. In 1974, she helped found a House of Prayer where 30 retreats a year were given. In 1980, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY to work in the Direct Mail office for three years.
Sister Joan then returned to Chile again in 1984, to do pastoral, catechetical and retreat work until 1999. In 2000, she joined the Jesuits’ Padre Hurtado Retreat House as a permanent member, doing 8 day retreats per year. In 2004, she was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center to work in the Development Department until 2010, when she retired.
A Wake and Vespers service will be held in the Annunciation Chapel of the Maryknoll Sisters Center at Maryknoll, NY on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 4:15 P.M. Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. also in the Annunciation Chapel. Interment will follow immediately after in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery.