Sister Mary Joan Barry, MSC

In Memoriam

Sr. Mary Joan Barry, MSC; (AKA, Sr. Oliver Plunkett) was born October 24, 1928 at Kilshinihan, Bandon, County Cork, Ireland.  She died at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home on April 2, 2019 at 4:50 AM.

Sr. Mary Joan was preceded in death by her father, Richard Barry, her mother Julia Sullivan Barry and her brothers, William Barry, Patrick Barry, Sean Barry; and her sisters, Peg Quinn and Sheila Ahern.  She is survived by her sister in Ireland, Mary Hales, and many nieces, nephews and their families.

Sr. Mary Joan entered the Congregation of the Marianites of Holy Cross on October 24, 1947.  She pronounced her perpetual vows on August 15, 1952.  She received her degrees in education from Holy Angels Academy and from Loyola University.  She was involved in elementary education at several schools in the New Orleans area including:  St. Cecilia, St. Mary of the Angels, St. Rita, Resurrection, and St. Andrew.  She also taught at St. Edmund in Eunice, St. John in Franklin, and Holy Family in Port Allen.  Always eager to serve wherever needed, she ministered as a missionary in Chilé and, later, she served in pastoral care making visits to patients in hospitals in New Orleans.  She moved to Opelousas in 2009 and served on the pastoral care staff at Prompt Succor Nursing Home where she offered her loving attention to the residents through her visits with them and their families.

With her sparkling blue eyes and rosy cheeks, she loved to dance the Irish jig and to share a cup of her specially brewed tea.   While faithful to her Irish heritage, she was devoted and committed to her responsibilities as an American citizen voting faithfully in every local and national election.  One of her favorite subjects to teach was social studies.  She expected her students to understand and learn from current events and her classes usually began with a discussion of daily topics of national and world interest.  Through her varied life experiences, Sr. Mary Joan brought an even-tempered spirit laced with honesty and integrity.  Her love and appreciation for others, near and far, were very evident throughout her life and evidenced in the many friends who were faithful in visiting her. 

Cheerful and grateful during her life, we give thanks for Sr. Mary Joan’s presence in our lives.  As she enters eternal life, the values of her fidelity to prayer, devotion to others, and dedication to her religious vocation are the lessons she passes on to us.   We rejoice with her as she enters eternal life and ask that she continue to pray in her special Irish brogue for each of us:

May the road rise up to meet you.  May the wind be always at your back.  May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.  And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.