In Sister Spotlight

Sister Spotlight: Sister Therese Dowd SSJ and Sister Joyce Valese SSJ

“We are team players,” says Sister Therese Dowd SSJ, as she reflects on the ministries of Sister Joyce Valese SSJ and herself. “What Joyce and I do is ordinary, behind-the-scenes out- reach. We are both kind of quiet in our approach to things. But, what we are doing at this point in our lives is wonderful!” After spending more than 50 years in the ministry of education, over 30 years of which were in the Le- high Valley, both Sister Joyce and Sister Therese felt it was time to move on to some new endeavors. Sister Therese recalls, “We wanted to have a different kind of outreach to people. We thought, who are the people who really need companionship or a presence?”

Click here to read more about Sister Therese and Sister Joyce.


  • Reply
    Kathleen Rooney
    March 30, 2020 at 10:58 PM

    A very fun memory was studying at St. Michael’s in Vermont and celebrating “Christmas” with a party on July 25th . Joyce and Therese came to visit me and Charlene Diorka and brought tons of Christmas decorations! What a happy memory.
    The other most tender and comforting memory I have is Theresa and Joyce coming to the wake service for my sister, Pat. They were the SSJ presence and I am still moved and grateful for their outreach to me and my family. ❤

  • Reply
    Maryanne Zakreski
    February 2, 2020 at 3:48 PM

    I, too, got to know Therese and Joyce at Holy INfancy in Bethlehem and continue to be amazed. As Therese has said, they do things quietly and behind the scenes and they ar full of joy. They continue to go to the place where things need to get done. I pray for each of them as they go to the border and for their continuing inspiring work. Thank you, Therese and Joyce.

  • Reply
    Sharon McCarthy
    November 4, 2019 at 10:08 AM

    And to add to their beautiful sense of giving, they are both ready and willing volunteers at Saint Mary by the Sea! Every summer….. and multiple times throughout the summer!
    One never has to worry when Therese and Joyce are at the helm in the Dining Room.
    Blessings to us all in many, many ways!

    • Reply
      Joyce Bright
      November 5, 2019 at 12:36 AM

      Hi there Sr. Sharon, i am so looking forward to next coming years retreat, i have been going to St. Mary’s By The Sea in Cape May for 3 yrs now and i must tell you how fullfulling this place is for me, the senority is something to behold, i am very good friends with Sr. Kaye Shinham S.S.J, we have been friends since meeting her in 8th grade, she inspired me so to the point that i was so interested in a Disernment into religious life, way back then it was called “The Calling” i went for the testing but was so nervious as a kid, i messed things up for myself and did not make it, it’s a shame that people have to be tested to prove their worth in life, i was so much a person of worth and still am today.FYI i am married today and 68yrs old, very active in my cimmunity and get involved in many activities, i certainly don’t feel my age! take care, i hope to see you on retreat! Mrs. Joyce Bright

  • Reply
    February 26, 2018 at 8:33 AM

    I first met Sister Joyce and Sister Therese when I was volunteering at Holy Infancy in Bethlehem, Pa. They are such inspiring women! It has been such a privilege to know them.
    Kathy Cleaver, SSJ Associate in Mission

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