Sister Joan Grace looks forward to her diamond jubilee


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Sister Joan Grace

VIERA VOICE Courtesy of Steward Health Care

A longtime local chaplain and teacher is celebrating her diamond jubilee, or 60th anniversary, of service as a Roman Catholic nun.

Sister Joan Grace, 81, currently works as a chaplain with Rockledge Regional Medical Center and Melbourne Regional Medical Center. The longtime nun couldn’t be happier as the anniversary is celebrated.

“It’s really awesome — 60 years of commitment to service to the Lord is really wonderful,” Grace said. “I must say it’s all because of the grace of God.”

The community will celebrate her diamond Jubilee at the 11 a.m. mass on Sunday, Aug. 12 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Viera.

As a chaplain, she said she has learned how to handle good and bad news.

“It’s wonderful to be with people so dedicated, the doctors and nurses,” Grace said. “…. It’s wonderful to see their dedication and their joy in their work. I just enjoy meeting them during the day.”

According to a release from Steward Family Hospitals, Grace was born Juliette Anne Grace in 1937 in Ireland. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame and from Stetson University. At Stetson, she took graduate courses in counseling and guidance. In 1986, she also earned her master’s degree in religious studies from Loyola University.

That strong educational background undoubtedly served Grace well in her lengthy career as a  teacher. She worked as an educator for 45 years, 42 of those years at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Rockledge.

“My favorite memories are seeing the children from year-to-year achieve, especially when they go on to high school and become wonderful citizens,”
Grace said.

She also added that a lot has changed since she came to St. Mary’s in 1962.

“Watching the whole area grow, it’s really exhilarating,” she added.