Sister Joan Bocklet, a vowed member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame for 66 years who spent a combined 17 years serving schools in East Baltimore, Rodgers Forge and Ellicott City, died at Villa Assumpta in Baltimore April 17. She was 86.
A funeral Mass was offered at Villa Assumpta April 25.
Joan Julia was born and raised in Philadelphia, where she was taught by the School Sisters at St. Peter’s School. Her grammar school years covered World War II, which influenced her vocation, according to the autobiography shared by her religious order.
“Having been taught a great devotion to the Blessed Mother by my parents, I made a promise to Our Lady that I would give my life to God if she would bring my brothers home safely from the war,” she wrote.
She entered the novitiate in 1952 and was given the name, Sister Thecla Marie. She taught at schools in Florida, New York and Pennsylvania before coming to the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1970. Sister Joan served as administrator of the parish schools at Our Lady of Fatima in East Baltimore, 1970-74, and St. Pius X in Rodgers Forge, 1974-80, then was principal at Resurrection School in Ellicott City, 1981-87.
She later became assistant administrator, 1994-2002, then director of education, 2002-05, of St. Vincent’s Orphanage in Tacony, Pa. Sister Joan also volunteered, ministering at Aid for Friends for more than 10 years. She cooked and delivered meals to the elderly and disabled homebound; listened to their problems and made a difference in their lives.
She received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a minor in English from St. John’s University in Jamaica, N.Y., and a master’s degree in Education with a minor in Mathematics from Villanova University.