MISSION AND MINISTRY | As Joanne Connolly, S.S.L., returned to her religious community’s house at Louisville High School in Woodland Hills, California, the LMU community bid her farewell on Sunday, Sept. 1.
Sister Joanne has served in various roles at LMU for almost 40 years. Her wisdom, quick wit and gracious sense of welcome have been a blessing to generations of Lions. Sister Joanne formally retired from the university several years ago, but we have been blessed to have her as a neighbor in Playa Vista since her retirement. She was a familiar figure on campus and at our liturgies in Sacred Heart Chapel.
Jim Erps, S.J., director of Campus Ministry, concelebrated at the Sunday morning Mass and offered a prayer of blessing for Sister Joanne by asking for God’s continued love and care for her as she returns to her community. In his introductory remarks, Father Erps acknowledged Sister Joanne as one of the institutional giants in the history of the university. He said that Sister Joanne holds an important place next to those beloved persons who preceded her – Al Kilp, S.J., Raymunde McKay, R.S.H.M., Peg Dolan, R.S.H.M., and Agnes Marie Schon, C.S.J.
In a beautiful expression of gratitude for her many years of service at LMU, Father Erps offered these words in honor of Sister Joanne:
“We have in our midst today someone who I regard as one of those giants: Sister Joanne Connolly, a Sister of St. Louis, who has been working at the university since the 1980s. I worked with her as a resident minister in Tenderich Hall in the ’80s. Sister Joanne was in the counseling department during those years and helped so many of our LMU students through difficult times. I know personally the lives she touched and changed. And her generosity was boundless. I remember after working all day in the office, she would return to the residence hall, and there would be a line of students outside her door seeking her counsel. I know that so many alumni remember Sister Joanne with great affection and gratitude. In later years, she took a more central role in student life and student affairs. She assisted many administrators including, in a special way, our long-standing senior vice president for student affairs, Dr. Lane Bove.”
Sister Joanne will be greatly missed on our campus. The heart of every Lion who knew her is filled with gratitude for the countless ways she generously shared her life with us and helped us see the face of God in her constant smile and gentle presence.
Your LMU family loves you, Sister Joanne, and we carry you in our hearts.