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Current Society News: Obituaries

Sr. Joanne Graham, OSB

Monday, August 15, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Katie Richards
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The Office of the Executive Coordinator recently became aware of the death of one of the Society’s members. Sister Joanne, Graham, OSB, a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Bismarck, ND, entered eternal life on April 11, 2011. Sister Joanne served in leadership positions for 50 years as a monastic woman. She was a nurse, nurse educator, hospital administrator, prioress of Annunciation Monastery, chancellor of the Diocese of Bismarck and vice chancellor of the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minn.

Sr. Joanne entered the Annunciation Monastery in 1958 and made monastic profession in 1960. She was elected prioress of her monastery in 1976. In 1986 she was appointed vice chancellor of the Bismarck Diocese by Bishop John F. Kinney and later became chancellor of the Diocese, serving in that post until 2003. Sister Joanne earned a degree in canon law in 1988 from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. At the time she became chancellor, she was one of only six women in the United States to fill that position in the Catholic Church. She also served from 2005 to 2006 as vice chancellor of the Diocese of St. Cloud.

Sister Joanne worked with canonical matters for the Federation of St. Benedict and Annunciation Monastery, was a certified spiritual director and chaired the Annunciation Monastery Sponsorship Group.

A woman with exceptional leadership gifts, Sister Joanne shared her expertise as a member of numerous local, state and national boards. She appreciated the Benedictine way of life and was committed to living it fully. Even when her health declined, she was faithful to the common life of the sisters, to community prayer and to the ministries of Annunciation Monastery. With a grateful heart, she always thanked those who assisted her in any way. Last summer on the occasion of her 50th anniversary as a Benedictine sister, she said, "My greatest reward has been watching people with whom I’ve ministered develop their gifts and serve God.”

Sr. Joanne was a member of the Society from 1986 until the time of her death.

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