Jubilee 2022

Sister Joy O’Grady

Sister Joy O'Grady, CSC Jubilee 2022

Sister Joy O'Grady, CSC

Celebrating Her Golden Jubilee

Sister Joy O’Grady, CSC, was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, and moved with her family to Ventura, California. She is the fifth of seven children (two older brothers, one older sister, two younger brothers); one brother and two sisters are deceased.

About Her Ministry

Sister Joy made her initial profession on August 15, 1972, and her perpetual profession on July 30, 1977. Prior to entering consecrated life, she was a student and ward clerk at Holy Cross Hospital, Mission Hills, California.

While obtaining her graduate degree in clinical social work from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Sister Joy ministered in pastoral care at St. Joseph’s Hospital, South Bend, Indiana. Upon graduation in 1980, she began ministry at Oaklawn Psychiatric Center in Elkhart, Indiana, where she served as a therapist and team leader through 1982. In 1983, she opened a private family counseling practice in South Bend.

In 1994, Sister Joy was elected by the Congregation to serve as Area Coordinator for its Mid-West Area through 1999. In 2004, she was elected to serve as president of the Congregation until 2009. Some of her leadership team’s notable achievements were:

  • Establishment of the International Novitiate at Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, Indiana,
  • Formation of International Formation and Vocation Coordination Teams,
  • Creation of an International Leadership Development Program, and
  • Establishment of a Congregation Global Think Tank comprising 12 international experts in the areas of social psychology, human rights, economics, theology, spirituality, law and comparative studies.

Between 2009 and 2014, Sister Joy served as a facilitator for leadership teams of various religious congregations around the United States. In 2014, she was again elected as Area Coordinator, this time for the Area of North America, which comprises ministries in Mexico and the United States. Also during this time, Sister served as a trustee on various hospital boards of Trinity Health, Novi, Michigan. Currently, Sister Joy serves on the Mount Carmel Health System Foundation Board, Columbus, Ohio, and on the consultation board for a new Congregation ministry called SOAR (Sisters Organizing and Advancing Recycling) in Ghana, West Africa.

She has been in her current position as a psychotherapist in private practice since 2019 and also conducts national and international workshops in conflict management, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, self-esteem and communication.

Getting to Know Her


  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame
  • Clinical pastoral education, University of Michigan Hospital, Ann Arbor

Favorite activities

 I love to garden and hate to knit. I love almost anything outdoors—playing, praying, working.

Favorite time of ministry

I have loved all my ministries. I worked in pastoral care in hospitals from 1974 to 1980. I was the department head at Oaklawn Psychiatric Center from 1980 to 1983. And I have been in a private counseling practice since 1983.

My most memorable time

Formation, but the story is much too long to publish here.

Favorite songs

My music tastes are very eclectic. I like all types except rap and hard rock.


 Sister Joy has served in the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese since 1980.