Sr. Joan "(Sister Gerard Marie)" Flynn
Sister Joan Flynn (Sister Gerard Marie) of the Sisters of Mercy died Monday (May 28) at St. Mary Home in West Hartford. Joan was born in Bridgeport, the daughter of the late John and Irene Carroll Flynn. She entered the Sisters of Mercy immediately after graduating from high school, professed religious vows in 1954, and embarked on a 16 year teaching career. Sister Joan then felt drawn to pastoral ministry and until her retirement in 2011 served at St. Mary Parish in Devon and St. Theresa in Trumbull. A social activist to the core, she created a “Confronting a Culture of Violence” committee in her parish long before the Sisters of Mercy chose non-violence as one of their critical concerns. She always appreciated the opportunity to engage with new people who soon became friends, reach out into the ecumenical community and minister to those in need, and was active in many community organizations including Area Congregations Together, Operation Holiday, Interfaith Emergency Shelter and the Valley Food bank. A compassionate, prayerful woman of deep faith, Joan was buoyed up in her final days by the chant, “New day, new hope, new joy” given her by a hospital worker.
Sister Joan is predeceased by her brother John Gerard (Jerry)and is survived by her sister-in-law, Alice Flynn, several nieces and nephews, countless friends and her sisters in the community of Mercy. A Mass commemorating Joan’s life will be celebrated on Thursday at 6:00pm in the chapel of St. Mary Home, 2021 Albany Ave., West Hartford. Friends may call prior to the Mass in the chapel from 3:00-5:00pm. Burial will take place on Friday at 9:00am. Those wishing to make a donation in Sister Joan’s memory are asked to consider the Sisters of Mercy, 25 Prescott St., West Hartford, 06110. Sheehan-Hilborn-Breen Funeral Home has care of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.SheehanHibonBreen.com