Congratulations Sister Joel
May 21, 2015 11:23 AM
(Pictured: Dr. Chuck Lucore, St. John's Hospital President and CEO, Sister Joel Jacobi, and Dr. Brenda Recchia Jeffers, St. John's College Chancellor and Professor)
St. John’s College, Department of Nursing Alumni Association named Sister Joel Jacobi as the recipient of its 2015 Distinguished Alumna Award this afternoon in a ceremony at St. Francis Convent.
Born 98 years ago in Belleville, IL, Sister Joel professed First Vows with the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis on October 4, 1938. She graduated from St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1941.
For nearly 15 years, Sister Joel worked as a staff nurse providing direct patient care and later in a supervisory capacity. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing from St. Louis University in 1955 and a master’s degree in nursing from The Catholic University of America in 1959, she assumed the role of nurse educator. She taught at St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing, Marillac College (St. Louis), and from 1967-95 served on the faculty at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. As a teacher, Sister Joel reminded her students to “think of patients not simply as a room number but more importantly as a person created in God’s image.” Furthermore, her advice to students and people in general was to “be compassionate and competent while caring for one’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.”
Following the example of St. Francis of Assisi, Sister Joel and several other Sisters began to feed the poor in Eau Claire in 1979 with excess food from Sacred Heart Hospital. This ministry’s humble beginnings from the Sisters’ convent garage expanded into St. Francis Food Pantry, an organization that serves nearly 600 families per week and is supported by various local individuals and organizations.
Since 2005, Sister Joel has resided at St. Francis Convent and is faithful to her ministry of prayer. “I have been blessed with a most rewarding life as a Hospital Sister and give thanks to God for the journey – his guiding hand was ever-present to me.”