Aston, PA—Sister Joan Cooper, OSF (formerly Sister St. Catherine), 94, died in Assisi House on Saturday, March 18, 2023. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for over 72 years. Sister Joan was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she was a member of St. Francis de Sales Parish and a graduate of West Catholic High School. She entered the congregation in 1948 and professed her first vows in 1951. She earned a BS in education from Villanova University and an MA in secondary education and English from St. Joseph’s College. She ministered primarily in education.
Sister Joan began her ministry in the Archdiocese of Baltimore where she taught for one year at Immaculate Conception School in Towson. In 1985, she ministered for one year in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., at Regina Ministry Center in Hyattsville, Maryland.
Sister Joan ministered for 70 years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia where she taught elementary school at Resurrection of Our Lord in Chester and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Morton. She also taught at Lansdale Catholic High School and St. Hubert’s High School in Philadelphia. After 26 years teaching elementary and secondary education, Sister Joan began ministering in higher education at Neumann University, first as an instructor and then as registrar. After many years in education, Sister Joan served in a variety of ministries in and around Aston. These ministries included hospitality ministry at St. Clare Renewal Center, human resources secretary at Our Lady of Angels Convent, office assistant for the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, and local house minister at Visitation Convent. Sister Joan also spent seven years as a volunteer as Drexel-Neumann Academy in Chester.
In 2016 she moved to Assisi House, the congregation’s retirement residence in Aston, where she served in prayer and hospitality ministry until her death.
All services will be held in Assisi House on Monday, March 27, and will be livestreamed. A Christian Wake Service will be held at 9:30 A.M. followed by viewing. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 A.M. Burial will be in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Aston. Sister Joan is survived by her many cousins and by her Franciscan family. Donations in her name can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.
For a more personal write-up about Sister Joan, click here.
The livestream will begin at 9:30 A.M. To access the livestream, click here: https://livestream.com/accounts/18363082/srjoancooper