Clifton, Sr. M. Joan of Arc

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 was 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, the young Anne had become familiar with ill health and hospitals. She a disability affecting her knee but this did not limit her in any way. She lived to her full potential and had many talents that she cultivated and of which she made good use. 

At her religious reception she took the name of Sr. Joan of Arc. She was to spend almost all of her MMM life in Drogheda.  Many Sisters will remember Sr. Joan sewing into the early hours to get a Sister ‘kitted out’ before leaving on short notice for an overseas assignment.  She worked tirelessly making various outfits 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 IMTH between 1960 and 1972. Then to her great delight, she was assigned to Gambo in Ethiopia 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 MMM Promotion Office in Drogheda and then at the hospital in administration where she proved to be a most efficient secretary/manager. She introduced 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. 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.

Sr. Joan quietly and peacefully went to her Father in heaven on 1 June 2008, surrounded by her nieces and nephews and members of her MMM family.