Clifton, Sr. M. Joan of Arc

Nationality: Irish
Congregational Register No: 300
D.O.B. 20.10.1920
First Profession: 01.06.1954
Died: 01.06.2008 Aged: 87 years

Anne Bridget Joan Clifton was born in Naas, Co Kildare and brought up in Killester, Dublin, where she attended the Holy Faith Convent.  She later attended Marino and Dun Laoghaire Technical Schools.  She had one brother and two sisters (one of whom emigrated to Australia).

Long before she entered MMM at the age of 31 and took the name of Sr. Joan of Arc, the young Anne had become familiar with ill health, hospitals, and using time profitably; she suffered from TB of the bone and had spent several years in Cappagh Hospital.  This left her with a permanent disability in her knee - but did not limit her in any way, as she lived to her full potential and had many talents which she cultivated and made good use of.

Sr. Joan was to spend almost all of her MMM life in Drogheda.  Many Sisters will remember Sr. Joan of Arc sewing into the early hours so as to get a Sister 'kitted out' before leaving on short notice for an overseas assignment.  She worked tirelessly making various costumes as young Sisters progressed from Reception to Final Profession, making sure that they were all smartly 'turned out' for the big day!  She set up and ran the Central Linen Department at the I.M.T.H. between 1960 and 1972 when, to her great delight, she was sent to Gambo in Ethiopia on a temporary assignment for eight months.  While there she staged the 'The Sound of Music' and made all the costumes out of next to nothing!  When she returned to Ireland she worked first in the Propaganda Office in Drogheda and then at the Hospital in Administration where she proved to be a most efficient secretary/manager, introducing the first electric typewriter into Drogheda - very high tech at the time!  In 1990 she went on another temporary assignment - this time to Nigeria to relieve the Regional Secretary.

In her 'spare time', Sr. Joan helped fund the Mission Work by knitting, crocheting and sewing various items and making candles for the sale of work. She loved all things theatrical and directed, produced and stage-managed many productions with young Sisters and student nurses.  But, perhaps, her greatest love was for the Liturgy.  She had a very fine singing voice and participated fully in the choir practices - helping to keep the less gifted on the right note!  Joan also spent much time updating and preparing new Hymn Books for the Beechgrove Community.  She informed herself by reading all the best spiritual books as soon as they were published and she 'relaxed' by doing crosswords!  Everything she did was grounded in a deep prayer life and a great love of MMM.

She experienced a considerable amount of pain in her later years, but she was undemanding and continued to be as helpful as she could with as little complaint as possible, although being a truthful and factual person, if asked if she was feeling well and she wasn't she would say so in her uncomplicated way.

Sr. Joan quietly and peacefully went to her Father in Heaven on Sunday the 1st June 2008 surrounded by her nieces and nephews and members of her MMM Family.