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Sister Joan Frances


Consecrated Virgin

Sister Joan Gormley, Professor of Sacred Scripture at Mount Saint Mary's Seminary since 1988 died at Gettysburg Hospital on Friday, October 19, 2007

Sr. Joan was born in Philadelphia. She received her B.A. at Trinity College in Washington D.C., and her M.A. in classics from Harvard University. Sister completed her doctorate in New Testament studies at Fordham University. Her post-graduate work included study at the Ecole Biblique de Jerusalem and the Theresian Documentation Center, Lisieux, France. As professor of Sacred Scripture, Spirituality, and Homiletics, Sr. Joan touched the lives of over 700 seminarians. "Sr. Joan not only taught seminarians about the scriptures, she taught them how to preach them; but also, through her own example as a dedicated woman of the Church, she showed them how to live them," said Fr. J. Daniel Mindling OFM Cap., long-time colleague and Academic Dean of the Seminary. "She admired the simplicity of St. Therese, and lived her spiritual life based on the principles of that sainted Doctor of the Church," according to Fr. Robert Zylla, OSC, a fellow senior faculty member. "Sr. Joan never sought the limelight; she looked for the good to be done, and did it."

Msgr. Steven P. Rohlfs, Rector of Mount St. Mary's Seminary, stated, "Sr. Joan will be sorely missed by us all. She was an example of steadfast love and commitment to the Church for both the faculty and the seminarians. She was a woman of faith and a woman of the Church." Sr. Joan, in addition to her life-long interest in St. Therese of Lisieux, was also an expert in the spiritual writings of the Spanish mystics and St. John of Avila. Her translation of the latter's writings on priestly spirituality was published in book length form. The Archbishop of Granada respected her very much, and honored her by sending 2 of his seminarians to study in Emmitsburg under her guidance.

Sr. Joan is survived by siblings, Dorothy and George Hunt of Forest Hill, MD, Patricia and Hank Weyler of Holmes, PA, Linda and Marlin Rowe of Newark, DE, John F. Gormley, Jr. of Pennsylvania, Joseph and DiDi Gormley of Tampa, FL, Frank and Mary Kay Gormley of Downingtown, PA, Mary Joan and Charles Ricker of Swarthmore, PA, Kevin and Sylvia Gormley of Milmont Park, PA, Julie Gormley of Brookhaven, PA, and Michelle and Matthew Taylor of Holmes, PA. She was predeceased by brothers, James and Michael Gormley.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, October 24 at 9:30 am at the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Mount St. Mary's University, Emmitsburg, MD. Bishop Kevin Rhoades will be the main celebrant.

Published in The News Journal on Oct. 24, 2007
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