SISTER Joanne Mastrogiacomo, OSB


On June 28, 2018, on her 85th birthday, Sister Joanne Mastrogiacomo, a founding member of the Benedictine Sisters of Baltimore, Emmanuel Monastery, died at Maria Health Care Center following complications from a chronic respiratory condition and a stroke sustained earlier in the week. she had been a resident at MHCC for four months.

Joanne (Annie to her family) was born in Elizabeth,NJ to Anna and Cosimo Mastrogiacomo. She attended Blessed Sacrament School and Thomas Edison High School there, and entered St. Walburga Monastery in Elizabeth in 1956. She received a BS in Elementary Education from Seton Hall University and an MA in Reading Education from Syracuse University in 1972/

She taught in a number of schools in the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ and the Diocese of Paterson, NJ until she came to Baltimore in July 1, 1971. From 1972-1985 she served as a remedial reading teaching in several Catholic Schools and then in the Baltimore City public schools until her retirement in 2001.

Joanne's "retirement" years were spent in service to her monastic community and beyond. Always working with her hands, she knitted hats for babies at St. Joseph Hospital and for the homeless/poor locally and those served by St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth, NJ where one of our sisters ministered. Her family and community were recipients of her embroidery skills exhibited in table cloths, pillowcases and framed saying. She served for years as Liturgy Assistant, taking responsibility for all the "not so little" things that brought order and beauty to our prayer. In her later years, Joanne suffered from essential tremor and could no longer do fine work with her hands. Yet she could always be found helping around the monastery especially in the kitchen. Her annual treats of Italian cookies at Christmas and homemade stuffed shells on Super Bowl Sunday became staple cuisine around the monastery. She also took up adult coloring which turned out to be good therapy for her unsteady hands.

Joanne is survived by her sisters at Emmanuel, and her sister Ginee and numerous cousins. Visitation and Vigil Service were held at Emmanuel Monastery on July 4, and a Mass of Resurrection celebrating her life was held on July 5th in the chapel at Villa Assumpta.

Joanne was an ardent Yankees fan, and she loved her Italian heritage which contributed to her joyful and often feisty personality, and to her love of song and dance. She also loved her Benedictine heritage, which she allowed to form and shape her into a woman who endeared herself to so many. We will miss her warm, welcoming smile and her gentle presence among us.




important statements from the conference of benedictine prioresses

Conference of Benedictine Prioresses Statement on Racism 2/4/17

Statement in Support of Comprehensive Reform of Immigration Policies 2/2013

Prevention of Gun Violence A Statement of the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses 3/21/13

Statements can be found on the Federation of St. Scholastica web site





AWE: an awesome enterprise

makes the news

Read the article by Colleen Dunne, which got front page coverage at this link

For more information about AWE visit their web site at