Profiles in Ministry: Sister Joyanne Sullivan, SND

Sister Joyanne Sullivan, SND in front of one of her favorite subjects to paint – landscapes.

I have been teaching myself how to paint for the last 15 years.  I began when I was invited, by someone I met when I led a senior ministry program at Sacred Heart Church, to join a class at a Ventura area Senior Center art class.  She asked me to join her and the class during my lunch break and I got hooked. I‘ve been painting ever since, working mainly with oil paints and doing landscapes and still life.

I try to use photos from places I’ve visited for inspiration in my paintings such as the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino and Descanso Gardens in La Canada. I feel very close to God when I am painting. I can close out the world around me, the frustrations and challenges of the day and zone in on the goodness of God in the beauty of His creation. My studio is my sanctuary, my holy ground.

Just one of the sacred spaces of creation where Sister Joyanne prays through art.

I became a Sister of Notre Dame in 1963 and I am the Director of Adult Formation and Evangelization at St. Dominic’s Parish in Eagle Rock, CA. I am also a National Catechetical Leader and Master Catechist for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

I use art and nature to enhance my teaching and find my greatest joy in journeying with the RCIA and Adult Confirmation processes and in training lay people to embrace the roll of Catechetical leaders in their parishes.

There are days I feel like their cheerleader and days I feel like their tugboat, but I always rejoice in their growing love of the teachings of Jesus and his Church.

– Sister Joyanne Sullivan, SND
Two exhibits of Sister Joyanne’s art, depicting two of the subjects that she’s most drawn to paint: landscapes and still life.

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