Jo Ann Simanella, CDP

Sister Jo Ann Simanella attended Elementary School (K-Gr. 4) at Blessed Sacrament Parish and (Gr. 5-8) at Ascension Parish, both in St. Louis, MO. She attended Incarnate Word Academy in St. Louis before entering Religious life. She credits the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and the Sisters of Divine Providence, especially her seventh-grade teacher, Sister Anita Green, for influencing her decision to enter religious life.

Sister Jo Ann earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and minors in Elementary Education and Theology from Marillac College in St. Louis. She received a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Dayton. She loves children and was a Primary Teacher at the following parishes between 1962 - 1986: Mary Queen of the Universe School in St. Louis, MO----Ascension School in Normandy, MO----St. John School in Imperial, MO----St. Mary/St. Mark School in Madison, IL----St. Mary’s School in Brussels, IL----Mount Providence School for Boys in Florissant, MO. She served at Divine Providence School in Westchester, IL as a primary teacher for 13 years and then 4 years as Principal. From 1991-1993, Sister Jo Ann lived with the Sisters of her Community in Oberursel, Germany and worked in the Kinderheim (home for children). She remembers this time as a great gift and blessing as it allowed her to get to know the Sisters in Germany and to minister in the country where her Community was founded. The experience also gave her a greater sense of internationality, her Community history and the German culture. When she returned to the U.S. Sister Jo Ann ministered as an Outpatient Representative at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Granite City, IL for a short time until she became Principal at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in St. Louis (1994-1995). She then served as a member of the St. Louis Provincial Leadership Team (1995-2001). She volunteered at Providence Center before becoming Principal at St. Elizabeth School in Granite City, IL (2004-2006). She worked as an Outpatient Representative at St. John Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis (2006 - 2011) and served as Pastoral Associate at St. Ferdinand Parish in Florissant, MO (2011–2018). Currently, Sister Jo Ann works part-time at Hutchens Funeral Home as a Greeter and does volunteer funeral ministry at St. Ferdinand Parish, meeting with families who have lost a loved one to plan a funeral liturgy.

When reflecting on the charism of the Community and what it means in her daily life, Sister Jo Ann said, “I love our Charism of Providence! I believe in a Provident God who loves me and provides me with opportunities of making God’s Providence visible and also experiencing God’s Providence in/through the people and events of my everyday life.”

Self-described as personable, hospitable, having a good sense of humor and compassionate. Sister Jo Ann loves spending time with her family, friends and Sisters. She also loves dancing, listening to music, traveling, taking photos, doing puzzles, reading, reflecting and listening to St. Louis Cardinal baseball.

CLICK HERE to make a gift in honor of Sister Jo Ann's 65th Jubilee.