Celebrating Vocations: Meet Sister Brenda & Sister Joan

Sister Brenda Monahan is the principal at Mother Seton Catholic School in Emmitsburg, MD. Growing up in an Irish-Catholic family, her parents nurtured her faith at an early age, which she believes led to discerning a vocation to religious life. This was also nurtured through her experience working as a camp counselor at a diocesan youth summer camp for four years. There she experienced service, community, and a strong sense of mission. She attended college at the University of Montevallo and there studied Elementary Education. After graduation, she began teaching in a Catholic school in Montgomery, Alabama.

During her early years of teaching, it became clear that God was calling her to a religious vocation. After a period of discernment, she entered the Daughters of Charity in 1991. Sister Brenda’s ministries have included working as a teacher and serving as a principal for the past 21 years in Alabama, Mississippi, Indiana, and, now, Maryland.

In scripture God tells us that if we leave everything and follow Him we will be blessed one hundredfold. “I can say that has been very true for me. I love being a Daughter of Charity and working with children through my ministry. Frederick Buechner stated that at true vocation is defined by, ‘The place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.’ I know that my joy is found in the love of God and serving those God places in my path. I hope you’ll find that place in your life, so that your passion helps to serve the needs of those around you.”

Sister Joan Corcoran was brought up in Syracuse, New York and is one of seven children. She graduated from both a Catholic Grade School and Bishop Ludden High School in 1974. Sister Joan then went on to get a four-year degree in Business Administration. She worked in the business profession for three years before entering the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent, de Paul in 1982. Her desire was to teach children, so she went back to school for her Master’s Degree. In 1997 she went back to be certified in both Administration and Supervision Certification from Manhattan College in New York.

Sister Joan taught in a number of schools in the Northeast and was principal at two different schools over 10 years. She is in her fourth year as Assistant Principal at Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg, MD. One of her favorite Bible passages is from Proverbs 3: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”