Sister Joan Monica Bolte, CSJ

Our beloved Jubilarian of 80 years, Sister Joan Monica Bolte is now celebrating her faithful years of service with our loving God.

Born Florence Marie Bolte to Louis and Mary Bolte, Joan was one of eight children and always spoke with heartfelt gratitude for the treasured gift of family. No matter what, Joan was always “in the know” on every happening of the Bolte clan and loved them deeply.

On Joan’s entrance application to the community in 1941 she described herself as “Lively” but assured Sister Carmelita and the community that her character was above reproach.  Over the course of the next 80 years her lively, kind, gifted and creative character revealed itself in acts of kindness and outreach to the poor and  marginalized too numerous to enumerate.

Joan’s love of knowledge and thirst for on-going education were evidenced in The plenitude of degrees and certifications that ranged from theology, sociology and anthropology to maritime history – and – oh yes, add French, philosophy and  a Master’s degree in European history from St. John’s University to complete the
circle.

Variety was definitely reflected in Joan’s ministries that included teaching at all levels of academia in Queens, Brooklyn and three separate assignments in Puerto Rico.   Puerto Rico’s spirit of graciousness and hospitality was dear to Joan’s heart and brought a twinkle to her eye.

In 1977 in response to tragic happenings in Ethiopia, Joan asked to be sent to help, but S. Joan de Lourdes thought it wise for Joan to stay close to home.

Rounding out her ministerial services Joan served as the records clerk and chaplain in Calvary Cemetery in Queens.  Her compassionate and empathetic manner was a gift to many.

For her last hurrah before actually retiring (at the tender age of 78), Joan acted as a Maintenance Technician at The Mary Louis Academy. Talk about a diversity of talents and a readiness to serve God’s people – Joan got it!

Joan left a file filled with letters of prayerful gratitude for the supportive freedom she was given as a Sister of St. Joseph.  She always humbly asked for the grace to live up to the expectations and needs of those she lovingly served.

Upon retirement, Joan happily called Sacred Heart Convent in Hempstead her home for 14 years. Joan was the anchor of Sacred Heart’s community room; no matter what was happening in the house, Joan was always there, reading and socializing. With  Joan’s generous and kind presence “all was right with the world.”

A voracious reader – she loved the New York Times and read it faithfully.  Joan devoured every book available to her and singlehandedly earned the title “Book Review Maven” of Sacred Heart.

Joan’s ability to tell stories, remembering the finest of details was uncanny. Known as the house Archivist, she was able to converse on any topic, to anyone, at any time.

In 2018, Joan moved to Maria Regina Residence where her gentle and engaging spirit endeared her to all.  Even in her suffering she offered high praise and immense gratitude to her caregivers and the pastoral care team  –  They were the face of God.

Joan often reflected on the blessings of her 80 years in community life as an ongoing gift, nurtured by communal and personal prayer and enriched by meaningful relationships. Today we publicly proclaim that she was a gift to all of us. May she be at peace with our loving God and continue to celebrate in joy and jubilation the fruits of a life well lived as a Sister of St. Joseph.

Sister Joan Monica Bolte, CSJ died on September 15, 2021 in the 80th year of her religious life.

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