Julu 23, 1935 — April 18, 2012
From her early childhood, Jeanne Anne McGlone had wanted to be a teacher. By the end of her high-school years with SNDs at Notre Dame Moylan, she decided to be, as she put it, a “Sister Teacher.” As a Golden Jubilarian in 2003, Jeanne traced her religious vocation back even farther, to the example of her parents: “I considered my father a man of prayer, and my mother a woman of action,” she wrote. “Where else could I have both these qualities, than in Notre Dame?” On August 9, 1953, Jeanne transplanted her strong family roots of prayer and action into new soil, the congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.
When she took the habit in 1954, she was given the name Sister Regina Joseph, honoring her parents, Eugene Joseph and Emily Regina McGlone. She was to live up to that name!
All her life, Jeanne was indeed a Regina. Who can forget her regal bearing, her eye for beauty or her flair for style? She could make a simple dress elegant with a swirl of colorful scarf; a bare room home with a painting here, a basket of dried flowers there; a canvas come alive in vivid colors and forms. She knew how to preside –over a classroom as teacher, a school as principal, a college residence hall as its director, even a province as a member of its leadership team.
All her life, too, Jeanne was a Joseph. She had her dreams, assumptions, plans, expectations. But like Joseph, she could handle God’s curve balls. “To say that my missions have been varied,” she wrote, “is an understatement.” Jeanne learned how to let go and move on – sometimes painfully. Her year as administrator at Julie Billiart Residence in Washington is a case in point. It meant giving up teaching to serve “off-stage,” as a Jill of all trades in an intercommunity setting. Her adaptability and responsiveness to a wide variety of needs and opportunities was one of her hallmarks.
A letter to the editor of a local Perryville (MD) paper records how Jeanne deployed her manifold talents to save Good Shepherd School during her years as its principal:
Sister Jeanne managed, in 1993, to keep the school alive, up to and past a deadline for closure. She galvanized not only the parents and parishioners, but the larger community. With an intense round of personal visits, she spearheaded a television feature, a highway billboard, many news stories, as part of a fund-raising effort which resulted in donations from MBNA, several veterans’ posts, local banking and business groups, friends and anonymous donors.
In other words, true to the Regina in her, Jeanne could negotiate the sophisticated, high-flying worlds of business, government, the media with aplomb. But it was all motivated by the Joseph in her – her abiding love for Christ’s “little ones,” and what she once called the “constant challenge to keep educating and meeting the needs of the children.”
Jeanne had a particular attraction to children with special needs, first at Kennedy Institute in Washington, and later as a public-school resource teacher in Southern Maryland. She earned an M.A. in special education at the Catholic University of America, using it to help prepare future teachers at Trinity College in the mid-seventies, where undergraduates and graduate students alike identified her as one of their favorite instructors.
In 1994, SNDs of the Maryland Province chose Jeanne for service on their Provincial Leadership Team. After seven demanding years in that ministry, where she exhibited a particular interest in lay Associates and retired SNDs, she happily returned to her “heartland” in Southern Maryland. She had served there twice as a principal – at Little Flower in the early seventies, and later at St. Peter’s, Waldorf. At St. Peter’s, Jeanne had worked with two other SNDs – an innovative Director of Family Religious Education (Marie McMain) and a devoted Pastoral Minister to the Homebound (Catherine Joan Skelley). The three of them formed a remarkable SND team, whose presence, prayer and service had a profound impact on the life and mission of the parish as a whole. Drawing on that experience, Jeanne worked from 2001 to 2008 as a Pastoral Associate in Holy Face Parish. From there, she went on to serve retired SNDs at Villa St. Michael, Emmitsburg, MD, eventually helping to facilitate their transition to Mount Notre Dame, where she herself became a grateful recipient of exquisite care.
This woman of prayer and action knew better than most that there is “a time for everything under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Having accompanied so many SNDs, as well as her own parents, through the final stages of their life journeys, Jeanne saw that seasons of building and planting give way to times of quiet surrender. There is for each of us “a time to die.” Jeanne embraced her “time” as a call from her loving God, and consciously, trustingly gave herself over into the hands of the Lord she had served so well.
For her sister, Mary Em, her extended family, and for us, Jeanne’s Sisters in Notre Dame, her passing is a time to mourn. For Jeanne, it is a time to laugh -- and dance! (Ecclesiastes 3: 4).
Born July 23, 1935
Baptized August 11, 1935
Entered Notre Dame August 9, 1953, Ilchester, MD
Received the habit February 7, 1954
First Profession: January 26, 1956
Final Vows: July 30, 1961
Notre Dame High School, Moylan, PA, 1953
B.S., Trinity College, 1964 (Education)
M.A., Catholic University of America, 1971 (Special Education)
Little Flower School, Great Mills, MD (teacher 1956-57; principal 1970-72)
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Brooklyn, NY (teacher, 1957-62)
Academy of Notre Dame, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia (teacher, 1962-63)
St. Catherine of Genoa, Brooklyn, NY (teacher 1963-65)
Kennedy Institute, Washington, DC (teacher 1965-68)
St. Jerome, Hyattsville, MD (teacher, 1968-70)
St. Mary County Schools (special education teacher, 1972-74)
Trinity College, Washington, DC (Instructor; Director of Cuvilly Residence Hall, 1974-77)
Great Mills High School, Great Mills, MD (teacher, 1977-79)
St. Peter, Waldorf, MD (principal, 1979-87)
Indian Head, Washington, DC (teacher, 1987-88)
Julie Billiart Residence, Washington, DC (administrator, 1988-89)
Good Shepherd, Perryville, MD (principal, 1989–94)
Maryland Province Leadership Team, Stevenson, MD (1994–2001)
Holy Face Parish, Great Mills, MD (pastoral associate, 2001-08)
Villa St. Michael, Emmitsburg, MD (2008–10)
Mount Notre Dame, Cincinnati, OH (2010-12)