Sr Joan entered the Community of the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1961. After college, she was assigned to teach first grade at Our Lady of Hope in Springfield and then was assigned to Immaculate Conception in Easthampton. In her first year there, working with Sr. Mary Ferguson, she started a special religious education program, as well as a special needs summer camp. Sr Joan was inspired to do these programs and make working with this population her life’s work, because of her brother, Edward. “Eddie” has special needs and has been a big part of Sr Joan’s life. Eddie has gone on to become a Eucharistic Minister and loves coming to mass at Jericho.

After Sr. Joan and Sr. Mary’s first successful year of camp, the town of Easthampton asked them to include their town's special needs campers. To support this growth of attendees, they enlisted the support of Youthcore high school students, as Camp Counselors. They conducted camp at Immaculate Conception and in the greater community. For some of these campers with special needs, it was the first time they experienced traveling to various places, such as the beach or a red sox game. This was largely due to the fact that in the 1960s, you rarely saw people with disabilities outside of their homes or institutions.
After two summers of this camp and being inspired by what individuals with special needs could do with the right supports, she requested to study at Loyola University in Chicago through a program called SPRED (Special Religious Education Division). When she returned, she went back to Immaculate Conception and in her spare time began volunteering with Father Wagner and his team to support families of children with special needs. In 1972, Sr Joan requested and was given permission, to leave teaching (the cornerstone of Sisters of St Joseph) and become the Religious Education Coordinator, for the officially chartered Bureau for Exceptional Children and Adults. In 1987 she assumed the position of Associate Director and then in 2001 when Father Wagner became ill she assumed the Executive Director position where she continued to keep Father Wagner’s dream alive. In 2020, after almost 60 years of religious service, Sr Joan made the difficult decision to semi-retire and take a part-time position as Ministry Coordinator here at Jericho.

Sr Joan loves supporting individuals and their families, with and without disabilities, and watching them grow and embrace the mission of “where everyone is welcome”.

 

Linda Lapointe

Linda Lapointe

Linda is a sister, aunt, and mother to individuals with different abilities. This experience led to ...

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Sr. Joan Magnani

Sr. Joan Magnani

Sr Joan entered the Community of the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1961. After college, she was assigned ...

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Sharon Koehler

Sharon Koehler

Sharon began working for Jericho in 2007.  During these past 13 years, she has gone from part-t...

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Dean Proulx

Dean Proulx

Dean was recruited to come to Jericho in the Spring of 2015.  He was mentored by Lou Dupuis in ...

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