Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Harrisburg will celebrate a funeral Mass on Oct. 24 at the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, for Sister Joan Gormley.
A professor of sacred scripture at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary since 1988, Sister Joan died at Gettysburg Hospital on Oct. 19. She was 70.
As professor of sacred Scripture, spirituality and homiletics, Sister Joan touched the lives of more than 700 seminarians.
“Sister 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, O.F.M. Cap., longtime colleague and Academic Dean of the seminary.
Monsignor Steven P. Rohlfs, rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, said Sister Joan will be “sorely missed.”
“She was an example of steadfast love and commitment to the church for both the faculty and the seminarians,” he said. “She was a woman of faith and a woman of the church.”
Sister Joan, in addition to her lifelong 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 two of his seminarians to study in Emmitsburg under her guidance.
Sister 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.