Leadership of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield was transferred to a new team of officers on Sunday, June 19, during a congregational gathering at Mont Marie in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The new team members—Sister Elizabeth Sullivan, President, Sister Patricia McDonnell, Vice President, and Sister Eileen Sullivan and Sister Denise Granger, will remain in office though June 2027.
The new leaders replace Sister Joan Ryzewicz, President, Sister Angela Deady, Vice President, and Sister Patricia Smith and Sister Shirley Anne Campbell.
The election process began last fall, 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 today’s ceremony, Sr. Elizabeth said, “Patty, Denise Eileen and I look forward to assuming our role to leadership. We are grateful for the support of all of our Sisters, our Associates, our Agrégées, and each of you. We will do our best to respond to the call of our Sisters, to our chapter commitments, and to respond to every day events diligently and patiently as we engage in Mission with one another.”
Sister Elizabeth Sullivan, born in Springfield, worked as Administrator of the Mont Marie Health Care Center for 30 years. A term as the Congregation’s Vice President from 2011 to 2017 was followed by serving as OCM Coordinator and Patient Advocate at the Caritas Cancer Center at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield.
Also a Springfield native, Sister Patricia McDonnell served as a member of the 1999-2005 Leadership Team. Sister Patricia worked as a social worker at the South Middlesex Opportunity Council in Easthampton; most recently Sister worked at CSO/Clinical & Support Options, in Northampton.
Born in Springfield as well, Sister Eileen Sullivan served at the Gray House in Springfield and was Pastoral Minister at Sacred Heart Parish in Feeding Hills. Sister Eileen has been working as the Pastoral Outreach Minister at St. Michael's Cathedral Parish in Springfield since 2000.
A native of Chicopee, Sister Denise Granger served at Cathedral High School for 25 years beginning with 13 years as a history teacher. She also taught at Holy Family School in Springfield and was associate principal at St. Thomas the Apostle School in West Springfield. Sister Denise served on the 2005-2011 Leadership Team of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was most recently the Congregation's Justice and Peace Coordinator.
“We are ever grateful for the blessings and challenges of these past five years and thank our community for the privilege of serving,” outgoing President Sr. Joan Ryzewicz said. “As we hand over this privilege to Betsy, Patty, Eileen and Denise we wish them the very best and give them our promise of loving, prayerful support.”
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