Sister Joan Teresa Groth, CSJ
Sister Joan Teresa Groth, CSJ, 90, died Sunday, November 6, 2016, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 71 years.
Sister Joan, the former Mary Alice Groth, was born in Syracuse on October 3, 1926, daughter of the late Herbert and Mary Phillips Groth. After graduating from St. Anthony’s High School, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on August 15, 1945 and professed final vows on August 15, 1950. Sister Joan received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in education from The College of Saint Rose and a master’s degree in theology from Providence College. For the first 20 years of her religious life, Sister Joan was a teacher and principal in schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses. In addition, she served the Sisters of St. Joseph as novice director, juniorate director and provincial superior and worked in the Albany Diocesan Office of Religious Education. For the last 15 years of her ministerial life, Sister Joan worked in the field of spirituality as a spiritual director and retreat facilitator.
As a teacher and principal, Sister Joan was able both to challenge and affirm her students, instilling in them her own love of learning and passion for education. As a principal, she was able to balance her high expectations and professionalism with warmth, accessibility, a sense of community and a collaborative style.
Sister Joan was a gifted spiritual director as she walked with individuals on their faith journey, supporting them as they followed God’s lead in their lives. Her own compassion, insight, wisdom and contemplative approach to life enabled her to help others become more aware of God’s ever-presence.
In the last years, Sister Joan faced her health challenges with patience and determination and confidently looked forward to God’s invitation to welcome her home. That legacy of faith and hope is her final gift to us.
Sister Joan is survived by many cousins and friends, with special mention of Sisters Serena Thompson, CSJ, and Gail Waring, RSM; and by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by three brothers, John Groth, and infant twins, David and Daniel Groth.
Sister Joan’s Mass of Christian Burial was held on Wednesday, November 9, in the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Contributions in Sister Joan’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.