The Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield elected a new team of officers April 2, 2017 during a congregational gathering at Mont Marie in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The new team members, Sister Joan Ryzewicz, who will serve as President of the Congregation, Sister Angela Deady, who will serve as Vice President, and Sister Patricia Smith and Sister Shirley Anne Campbell, will begin their term in June and remain in office though 2022.
The new leaders will replace the outgoing team of Sister Maxyne Schneider, President, Sister Elizabeth Sullivan, Vice President, and Sister Lillian Reilly, Sister Carol Hebert and Sister Virginia Maitland.
The election process began in the fall of 2016, when the Congregation gathered to set new goals and choose new leaders in a process known as Chapter. The months-long session includes reflection and planning for the community’s life in mission together.
Following the election ceremony, Sr. Joan said she was a bit overwhelmed. “Four of us are willing to serve but when I think of the legacy of Sisters of St. Joseph and the strong leaders we’ve had, the two words that come to mind are honor and responsibility.” She said the team hopes to apply those qualities while working with the Diocesan Church as well as the wider community from Newport to Pittsfield and everything in between.
Sister Joan, a native of Springfield, is currently serving as program director at Providence Place Retirement Community and served as pastoral minister at St. Jerome Parish in Holyoke for 20 years.
Sister Angela is a native of Chicopee and taught at Holyoke Catholic High School before becoming a pastoral minister at All Saints Parish in Ware.
Sister Patricia, a native of West Springfield, taught at Cathedral High School and ministered in Africa for 42 years before beginning her current job ministering at Genesis Retreat Center.
Sister Shirley Anne, born in Montreal, is currently employed as a case manager at Baystate Noble in Westfield. She worked for many years in the mental health field and was co-founder and co-director of Weston Rehab in Holyoke for 20 years.
The SSJ Congregation currently has 199 members serving in Springfield, Worcester, Fall River and the Berkshires in Massachusetts as well as Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland and Africa.
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