school established for the children of international diplomats.
In 1966, she was expelled with other Catholic missionaries during
the Red Guard Uprising. After beatings, a public trial and humiliation, the eight FMM were
brought to Hong Kong, where they were
expelled from China. Joel spent the next three years in France and then was sent to Vietnam, where
she worked with young women
and translated for the American Soldiers. Joel said that she was intrigued by the stories told
by American soldiers about life in the
United States, which motivated her to ask to be sent to the United
States. Because of her international experiences, she was fluent in
Russian, French and English. She also spoke Chinese and Greek. In 1978, Joel was sent to the United
States. She graduated from the New England School of Art and Design in Boston. She also studied modern art at Northeastern
University. Joel worked in a variety of mediums: oils, acrylics, watercolors and pastels. For themes, she chose landscapes,
seascapes, Chinese silk paintings and portraits. She developed a number of murals. Her paintings are
displayed in St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn, NY and in Franciscan Hospital for Children, Brighton,
MA. While in the fmm community in Brighton, Joel served as sacristan and did some office work.
She was then missioned to our Lady of Lourdes Community in
Providence RI, then to Homewood Avenue, de Chappotin and Trinity Communities in North Providence.
During this time, Joel began
her extensive ministry of teaching art. At the end of the ‘90’s, the
Peace Barn was built on the property at Fruit Hill. Half of the up- stairs Barn became Joel’s
Studio. Here, many of her paintings are
on display, and here she taught class.
A truly free person, Joel blended her art with her spirituality and prayed in many creative ways.
Her joyful nature uplifted those who were feeling despondent or burdened. Through her teaching of
art, Joel shared her zest and joy of life.
She enjoyed all kinds of music and dancing. Her spontaneity lent joy to all gatherings. Joel’s
imagination was at its best for the Christmas Crib she prepared every year and her Christmas Play
and Party. She made the costumes and directed all the action, including play- wright and stage
design! Dynamic and Loving, Gifted and Challeng- ing with an imagination that swiftly translated
into some form, Joel was truly one of God’s Beloved Originals—and we, her Sisters, miss her greatly.