Dominican Sister Joan Looney dies at 72

Dominican Sister Joan Looney

Dominican Sister Joan LooneySPARKILL, NY—Sister Joan Looney, a member of the Dominican Congregation of Our Lady of the Rosary, died on Feb. 2 in Siena Hall.

The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel, in the convent. Burial was in St. Agnes Cemetery.

Born in New York City May 12, 1938, Joan Marie was the daughter of Daniel and Mary Flynn Looney. She entered the Dominican Congregation of Our Lady of the Rosary in Sparkill in 1956, and became known as Sister Joan Mary, professing her final vows in 1963.

Sister Joan earned a bachelor’s degree in education from St. Thomas Aquinas College, a master’s in English from City College of New York and another master’s in pastoral counseling from Iona College.

During her professional life, Sister Joan was an elementary school teacher and administrator in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Syracuse.

She taught at St. Rose of Lima in Manhattan, 1958-1959; St. Helena’s in the Bronx, 1959-1961; and St. Paul’s in Valley Cottage, 1961-1966; St. Catherine in Binghamton and St. Vito in Mamaroneck, where she also served as principal.

Sister Joan also served on the leadership team for the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill. From 1988-97 she was coordinator of Newburgh Ministry, a community outreach founded by several congregations of women religious to serve the needy in Newburgh, N.Y.

From 1997 to the present, Sister Joan ministered at Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach on John’s Island, S.C. She started an English as a Second Language program for the primarily Mexican migrant workers on the island.

She also worked with her associate, Dominican Sister Pat Keating, director of Neighborhood House, by volunteering at the outreach located in Charleston, S.C.

Sister Joan is survived by her sister, Eileen Spencer of Yonkers, her nieces and nephews, and her religious community.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Dominican Convent, attention Sister Mary Murray, president, 175 Route 340, Sparkill, NY 10976.