Joan Lowell, IHM

Sister Joan, IHM, 81, died Wednesday, Jan. 16, in IHM Senior Living Community.

Sister Joan came to the IHM Sisters of Monroe after 20 years as an IHM Sister of Immaculata, Pa. She was born in Philadelphia on Oct. 29, 1938, to Fred and Lois (Goldstein) Lowell. She attended Grover Cleveland School and Gillespie Middle School and graduated from Little Flower High School. It was at Little Flower that she entered the Catholic faith, met the IHM Sisters and became interested in religious life.

After entering the Immaculata community, Joan earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Immaculata College (Philadelphia). As Sister St. Michael, she taught in elementary grades for more than 20 years at Catholic schools located in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Her interest in human development, behavior and psychology led her to work in human relations, social justice, among the elderly and as assistant chaplain for the United States Army Chaplain’s Office in Fort Riley, Ka. Sister Joan experienced a plentitude of cultural challenges, situations and blessings over the course of her life and in service to God.

Sister Joan’s desire to fully live out the call of Vatican II led her to enter the IHM Sisters, Monroe, in 1986. She initially lived in community on the Monroe campus, and later in Detroit, on the campus of Marygrove College. She earned a master’s degree from Wayne State University and focused on adult education, pastoral ministry and art therapy while residing in Detroit.

Throughout her life, health issues created diversions and challenges. However, in her perseverance, Joan was an accomplished artist and shared her talents with the community via her works, teaching and art therapy. She moved to Monroe in 2002 and continued art therapy and assisted in the campus literary arts and resource center. She moved into the IHM Motherhouse community in 2009.

Sister Joan is survived by her sisters in community. She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Helen Schell.

Read her Remembering.