May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Joan Kowalski, OP

Sr. Joan Kowalski, OP, formerly known as Sister Anne Richelle, died on Monday, January 8, 2024, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 82 years of age and in the 66th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Joan was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Richard and Margaret (Sheldon) Kowalski. She graduated from St. Joseph Academy in Adrian and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian, a Master of Arts degree in Counseling and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Clinical Psychology from U.S. International University in San Diego, California.

Sr. Joan Kowalski, OP
Sr. Joan Kowalski, OP

Sister Joan Kowalski spent 12 years ministering in education in Detroit and Port Huron, Michigan, and one year as elementary administrator at St. John of the Cross in Lemon Grove, California. She served as a pastoral minister for two years at St. Pius X in Southgate and for one year at St. Joseph Parish in Erie, and as an adult education director for the Southland Vicariate in Detroit, all in Michigan. Sister ministered 15 years at San Diego Center for Psychotherapy, 10 years as psychiatric assistant/guidance counselor and five years as psychiatric assistant/ pastoral counselor. She served as pastoral counselor for three years at St. Patrick Parish and 17 years at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, both in Carlsbad, California. Sister became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2023.

Sister was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Richard. She is survived by loving family and her Adrian Dominican Sisters.

Visitation will be held from 6:30-7:00 pm on Thursday, January 11, 2024, in the Gathering Space of St. Catherine Chapel. The Vigil Prayer will be held at 7:00 pm Thursday, January 11, 2024, in St. Catherine Chapel. A Funeral Mass will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel at 10:30 am Friday, January 12, 2024. Prayers of Committal will be held in the Congregation Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, MI, 49221.

Those who are not attending services in person are welcome to participate via live stream at

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.

Sister ministered in Michigan 16 years:

  • Our Lady of Sorrows, Detroit (1959-61): Elementary Teacher
  • St. Joseph, Port Huron (1966-71): Elementary Teacher
  • St. Pius X, Southgate (1971-73): Pastoral Minister
  • Southland Vicariate, Detroit (1973-74): Adult Education Director
  • St. Joseph Parish, Erie (1974-75): Pastoral Minister

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