Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, Janice Bohn, who followed her heart and calling to Arizona where she served in ministry for nearly 40 years, died suddenly Dec. 24, at the Mount Notre Dame Health Center in Cincinnati. She was 69.

Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Janice Bohn.
Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Janice Bohn.

“She was a gentle, loving, faithful friend,” said Sr. Maria Celia Molina, SNDdeN, diocesan program coordinator for Caminante and Aqua Viva. “She had a great love for the Blessed Mother and priests. Every day of her life she prayed the Rosary for priests.”

Sr. Maria Celia, who has known Sr. Janice for about 45 years, said the two nuns recently spent a weekend together laughing, sharing, praying, receiving Holy Communion and talking more.

“Her life became a song of praise,” Sr. Maria Celia said. “I’m not sad, I’m happy for her. She reached her goal of sanctity.”

Sr. Maria Celia said when the two of them got together, the subject of God always became the topic of conversation.

She recalled a time when they were discussing dying and going to heaven. As Sr. Maria Celia spoke of how exciting it will be to learn about everything, like the beginning of creation, Sr. Janice, said, “Just think of all those people, and how we get all of eternity to get to know them.”

Sr. Janice was born in 1943 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to James H. and Nova Mae Bohn. She grew up in Cincinnati, attending St. Vivian Elementary School, and Mount Notre Dame High School in Reading, Ohio.

It was her association with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur during high school that led her to enter their postulancy on Sept. 8, 1961. She took her first vows in 1964, and her perpetual vows five years later.

Sr. Janice earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Dayton in 1967, and a master’s degree from Boston College in 1985.

Her charismatic and joyful nature served her well throughout her 48 years of varied service, which took her all over the world.

“She was dynamic and outgoing, and deeply devoted to spirituality and spiritual growth,” said Sr. Jean Steffes, CSA, chancellor for the diocese. “She was a dear friend to me, and she was open and hospitable to everyone.”

The beginning of her ministry was at Our Lady of the Rosary School in Dayton Ohio, as a teacher and catechist. She also taught at St. Victor School in Calumet city, Ill.

In the summer of 1968, Sr. Janice went to Sonora, Mexico, to study Spanish and serve in adult education and pastoral ministry, which eventually lead her to San Martin de Porres Parish and Blessed Sacrament Parish in Tolleson.

Sr. Janice has also served in the South Vicariate Hispanic ministry, as associate spiritual director at the Mount Claret Diocesan Cursillo Center and as pastoral associate at Queen of Peace Parish in Mesa.

The Gamez family of Phoenix posted the following on the online guest book: “Sister Janice has always been one of Heaven’s brightest lights. She came into my family’s life during our darkest time and brought hope, laughter and solace. Her laughter and spunky personality epitomized everything a woman of faith is. Our most heartfelt condolences to all whom Sister touched. Her smile will be greatly missed. Shine brightly, Sister, and thank you for having shared your warmth with us.”

Sr. Janice also served as a member of the general government team of the Sisters of Notre Dame residing in Rome, serving as a liaison for the congregation.

Her visits took her to Brazil, Nicaragua, Peru, Japan and California. When her term concluded, Sr. Janice returned to Arizona where she was responsible for the initial formation of Notre Dame Associates and acted as their spiritual director.

Sr. Janice is survived by her brother Robert, sister Jane Schuler, niece Amie Liggett, nephew Andrew and great nephew and niece Nolan and Reagan Liggett.

A Memorial Mass honoring her life and ministry in Phoenix will be Jan. 31, 7 p.m., at Queen of Peace Church in Mesa. Fr. Thomas Bennett will preside.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Dec. 28, in the St. Julie Chapel at the Mount Notre Dame convent in Cincinnati, with burial immediately following.

Gifts in memory of Sr. Janice may be sent to: The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, 701 E. Columbia Avenue, Cincinnati, OH, 45215.

Gina Keating has been a freelance writer for The Catholic Sun since 1995. A convert to the faith, she began her journey while attending the University of Arizona. She works in children’s ministry/sacramental preparation at St. Theresa Parish, where she is also a member of Boy Scout Troop 147. She and her husband, Thomas, have four children and a granddaughter.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, what a shock! I just sent Sister Janice a birthday card for her 70th birthday. When she called me on the telephone, she’d laughingly say, “Janice, this is the other Janice.” I will miss her gently soul. Rest in peace, Sister Janice.

  2. What a huge loss for all of us who love Sister Jan! Her warmth, love, and passionate love of the Holy Trinity has blessed so many of us. God speed, Sister Jan, to your eternal home! May you continue to pray for us who remain on our earthly pilgrimage and for Cursillistas still on our Fourth Day!

  3. I had the incredible pleasure of calling Sister Janice Bohn, SNDdN, a very dear friend. She helped give me direction and guide me on my spiritual journey. We spent alot of time together laughing, crying, walking, talking, sharing and enjoying one anothers company. She even encouraged me to pray in public at a restaurant before a meal, which at 23yrs old, was a little more “RELIGIOUS” for me and where I was at on my spiritual journey….but with love, guidance and alot of laughing, it is a habit that I am very proud to say that I continue to do today, without the embarrassment or feeling too “RELIGIOUS”! Jan you will be so very missed, but I look forward to a time when we all will be together again! I love you!

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