Dominican Sister of Peace Joan Marie (David Marie) Dropski, (86), died on October 4, 2019, at the Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY. Born in 1933 in Lynn, MA, Sr. Joan and her two brothers were raised by two loving parents, Madeline Casey and Joseph Thomas. Sr. Joan worked for two years before entering religious life in 1953, and served God’s people for 64 years.
Sister Joan graduated from Rosary Academy and earned her AA in Education from Saint Catharine Junior College in 1957, her BA in Education, Social Studies and English from Siena College in Memphis in 1965, and her MA in Religious Studies from Mundelein College in 1971. She delighted in learning, and in sharing knowledge with others, so she continued her education throughout her years of ministry by attending many workshops and institutes.
Sister Joan’s early ministry was in education, serving as an elementary and junior high teacher and principal in Nebraska. Her study at Mundelein deepened her knowledge, and she moved on to serve as Director of Religious Education and Parish Minister in both Nebraska and Massachusetts.
Sister Joan shared her gifts and talents with our Order as both a Regional Coordinator and as an Administrative Assistant to the Regional in Watertown. For fourteen years she conscientiously fulfilled her responsibility as bursar for the Eastern Region, recognized for her faithfulness and dedicated service.
It’s hard to say that Sister Joan “retired” in 2005 because she continued to offer her caring service wherever she was needed and even after entering Sansbury Care Center, witnessed to others through her presence and prayer. In a reflection, Sister Joan wrote that she “would hope to enable others to be ALIVE with the love of the Lord.” Throughout her 64 years of ministry, she herself was alive to God’s love and shared it with others.
In her preaching at Sr. Joan’s funeral, Sr. Rose Cummins noted that Sr. Joan was a woman of great faith and optimism. Even though she suffered twice from breast cancer and eventually became legally blind, she had a great love for her community and offered her heart and hands in service to the Congregation and to God’s people. She also refused to let these things discourage her, and continued to enjoy her friends, traveling and reading.
A vigil of remembrance was held for Sr. Joan on October 13 at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial was held on October 10 at Sansbury Care Center Chapel. Sr. Joan was interred in the St. Catharine Motherhouse cemetery.
Memorial gifts in Sr. Joan’s memory may be sent to Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219-2098. To make a secure online donation, please click here.
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