Sister Joan O’Sullivan, RDC (Formerly, Sister M. Victoire)
Sr. Joan celebrates her 70th Jubilee in 2022! Sister entered religious life after graduating from Preston High School in 1952, and began her “life-long journey of learning,” While deepening her spiritual life and learning her role in religious life within the RDC Congregation, Sister was also trained to teach at Good Counsel College. Sr. Joan began her teaching ministry in 1955 when she joined a team of Sisters who opened St. John the Evangelist School in Mahopac. Sister taught first grade at St. John’s until she was reassigned to St. Joseph’s in Croton Falls in 1963, followed by Holy Name School in Valhalla. As principal of St. Mary’s in Katonah, Sister embarked upon a new and enlightening experience, that of ascertaining the individual needs and talents of each student. During this time, Sr. Joan also became aware of the needs of students who were academically or behaviorally challenged. Following her term as principal, Sister represented Catholic School education on a federally-funded grant called Project Mainstream. A member of a team of six consultants, Sister worked to research, develop and implement strategies for administrators and teachers to engage children with special needs in an inclusive school environment. The project concluded with the passing of Public Law 94-142, which guaranteed a free, appropriate public education to each child with a disability. After earning a doctorate in psychology, Sr, Joan worked as a teacher of children with special needs. In 1996, Sister transitioned from teaching and joined the RDC Center for Counseling and Human Development as a psychologist and partner. “It was the best team of mental health professionals I ever worked with,” Sr. Joan said. In 2012, Sr. Joan developed The Earth Restoration Project to transform a junk yard into a beautiful, four-acre parcel of God’s earth into woodlands and a 150+ year old barn. The transformation took five years. Sr. Joan remains a life-long learner of compassionate presence to herself and others.