Sisters of Notre Dame…Missioned to Incarnate the Love of our good and provident God

Sister Joan Marie 

Sister Joan Marie                ND 5041              PDF Download

formerly Sister Mary Josef

Joan Marie RECKER

Immaculate Conception Province, Chardon, USA

Date and Place of Birth:              August 18, 1940         Leipsic, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession:   August 16, 1960          Toledo, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:            October 1, 2023         Sylvania, Ohio
Date and Place of Funeral:         October 6, 2023        Toledo, Ohio

“My lover belongs to me and I to him.” Song of Songs 2:16

Sister Joan Marie Recker died at Rosary Care Center in Sylvania on Sunday, October 1, the day recalling the origin of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame founded in Germany in 1850. Sister was 83 years old and in her 63rd year of religious profession. How fitting that someone who had spent her entire religious life imparting the charism and spirit of the founding sisters, Sister Maria Aloysia Wolbring and Sister Maria Ignatia, would take her place with these sisters on Founders Day.

Born Joan Marie to Joseph and Agnes (Schroeder) Recker the fourth of eight children, she attended St. Mary School before becoming an aspirant at Notre Dame Academy, Toledo. In 1962 she began teaching grade seven at Christ the King School, Toledo. In 1964 she became the Aspirant Directress, the first of many years as a formator of the young women considering religious life. While Aspirant Directress she also taught at Notre Dame Academy and Notre Dame Extension College 1964-74 before becoming a postulant directress in 1974 and novice directress (1976-1988). Like the foundress, Sister Joan believed “the dear God has always taken care and will continue to do so” as she took on the role of Provincial Superior of the Toledo Province in 1988, a leadership position of nine years. Sister became Chancellor for the Toledo diocese, but within three months was elected to the General Council in Rome and then re-elected for a total of 12 years. Returning to Ohio in 2011, she was a team member at Lial Renewal Center in Whitehouse. Described as a “contemplative in action,” she was a spiritual director until 2021. She moved to St. Clare Commons in Perrysburg and later to Rosary Care Center in Sylvania, where her suffering became her prayer. At the end of every visit the visitor heard “I love you.”

She was a woman of deep prayer, exceptional listening and sensitivity, a person who looked for the best in others. Imbued with the charism of the Sisters of Nore Dame, she lived and imparted to many the witness to God’s provident care. Her ability to articulate and live the charism aided her in writing a commentary on the Constitutions of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame. Hers was always an increased desire to live the charism authentically. Sister shared the good news of the gospel that God, whom we desire, desires us even more passionately. God longs for us with the longing of the Lover for the beloved. In her death, Sister Joan Marie felt that longing fulfilled.

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