Sister Joan Lanctot, CSJ, (Madeline) 90, passed away Tuesday evening, December 28, 2021 in the Benedictine Living Community of Crookston, Minnesota.
Sister Joan was born on June 24, 1931 in the family home located between Crookston and Gentilly. For one of her anniversaries, she wrote: “My Baptismal name is Madeline Jean. I was born on June 24th on the birth of John the Baptist. My middle name Jean is French and Joan is an English name. My Uncle John Lanctot had the same birthday as mine but he was very much older than me!” Madeline, the “middle child” of parents Eddie Lanctot and Delia Brule of Crookston Township, was always careful with details such as having an older brother and one younger brother. Her earliest education was at a country school and her high school years were spent at St. Joseph’s Academy in Crookston. From 1948-52 she attended the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota where she studied to be a teacher. The pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Minneapolis hired Madeline as the first-grade teacher in the new school staffed by Sisters of St. Joseph from Crookston.
Although Madeline had said she had no plans to become a Sister, she was soon influenced by the kindness and zeal of the Sisters with whom she taught, and she entered the religious community in September 1952. Madeline received the Habit and religious name of Mary Joan in 1953. She made her First Vows in March 1954 and Final Vows in August 1959. She also completed her college work and received a B. A. degree in Education in 1959.
Sister Joan taught a total of 18 years teaching mainly first and second grades at St. Anne’s in Somerset, WI, St. Joseph’s in West St. Paul, MN, St. Richard’s in Richfield, MN, St. Joan of Arc, Mpls, MN, St. Peter’s Park Rapids, MN and St. Joseph’s Academy in Crookston. She also ministered in parishes in the Baudette and Williams area and at St. Mary’s Mission in Dunseith, ND. Often she served as superior of her local religious community.
Her next move was to St. Paul, MN and a new ministry named “Sisters Care” started by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. This ministry was designed to assist elderly people to remain living in their homes, and after 4 years of living there, Sister Joan was led back to her roots in Gentilly and to life with her aging mother. This combination of training and experience enabled Delia to remain in her own home and for Sister Joan to take on part-time employment for 10 years as a Home Health Aide for Polk County Public Health. In 2001, Delia moved to The SUMMIT and then to the Villa in 2005 and Sister Joan never stopped her attention to her mother’s needs. She cared for Delia as Delia had cared for her own mother, Caroline Brule. Everyone expected that “Sister Joanie” would outlive them, both in age and in number of years of care of the “elderly.”
Sister Joan is survived by “older brother” Vernon (Hazel) of San Antonio, TX, “younger brother” Ed (Linda) of Payson, AZ, and 6 nephews and many great-nieces and nephews and members of her religious community. She was predeceased by her parents Eddie and Delia Lanctot and, also by two aunts, Sister Jeanne (Eva) and Sister Agnes of the Blessed Sacrament (Aurore), sisters of Eddie Lanctot and both members of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Crookston.
The Mass of Resurrection for Sister Joan Lanctot will be held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, May 12, 2022, in the Villa St. Vincent Chapel of Benedictine Living Community Crookston with The Rev. Joe Richards, presiding. Burial will take place in Calvary Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Congregation of St. Joseph or the Villa Foundation. The funeral will be livestreamed by going to Sister Joan's obituary page at www.stenshoelhouske.com and clicking on the prompt to view.