On Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. the Lord called our dear Sister Mary Joan, SAC – Patricia Gongora to Himself to enjoy eternal bliss.
Sister Mary Joan was born to Juan Gongora and Victoria Ongay nee Gongora on March 17, 1910 in Corozal Town.
Sr. Joan had only one brother. She is survived by her niece, Vicky Pelayo and nephew Edgar Cano, and a few relatives and friends.
After her primary education, Sr. Joan worked for a short time. She was one of the four pioneers who entered our Belizean Novitiate which at the time was in Corozal town. Sister received the habit on January 6, 1932 at Novitiate Nazareth in the Toledo District where the Novitiate had been transferred. January 6, 1934 was a day of rejoicing for Sr. Joan. She pronounced her first vows and so was ready to work in the vineyard of the Lord. She made her final commitment to the Lord on January 6, 1940.
Sr. Joan was a self-educated person and an avid reader. She worked in every district where Pallottines served. She was an excellent homemaker, worked in the garden and did other domestic work. Gratitude was her hallmark even in pain. Sr. Joan was known for her generosity with her time and with people who came to her door. She was a beacon of light to many. She lived many years in San Ignacio, a place she called home. In August 2009, Sister came to live at Pallotti Convent since preparation was being made to close the convent in San Ignacio.
Sr. Joan was dedicated and faithful to her prayer life. She could be seen early in the morning before community prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel.
She attracted many and was present to them. She visited the sick, shut-ins and anyone who needed her. In later years her friends came to pick her up in their vehicle to take her visiting. Sr. Joan loved people and made everyone feel at home.
The funeral Mass of the Resurrection for the life of Sr. Joan was held on January 17, 2011 at St. Joseph Church. The main celebrant was Most Rev. Bishop Dorick Wright. She was buried at Lord Ridge Cemetery in Belize City.
May she rest in peace.