Attending St. Francis High School in her youth, Sister Joan of Arc Souza met the Sisters of St. Francis, who impressed the young Sister Souza so much that she decided to ultimately join them. Involved heavily in her community, she noted that there were several opportunities for both nursing and education. As such, Sister Souza delved into education to help younger generations of students.
Joining the Sisters of the Third Franciscan Order in Syracuse, New York, in 1961 at the age of 19, Sister Souza has accrued 58 years of excellence within the realm of religious education. At the inception of her career in 1963, she served as a youth minister of the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse for eight years before serving in the same role for Saint Peter’s Parish in Riverside, New Jersey, for the subsequent two years.
Moving from America’s East Coast to the beauty of Honolulu, Sister Souza served as a teacher at the Saint Francis School between 1973 and 1984 before returning briefly to New York to serve as a youth minister of the IHM Parish in Liverpool, New York, a position she held until 1991. From 1991 until her retirement in 2018, Sister Souza relocated back to Honolulu, where she was an elementary, junior and senior high school principal at the Saint Francis School. Starting in 2006, she was a pre-kindergarten through 12th grade co-ed school principal.
In light of her exceptional undertakings, Sister Souza has accrued numerous accolades and was recognized by the Saint Francis High School Alumni Association for her significant contributions and devotion to the school. Notably, she kept the school alive during a time when it was losing enrollment and she succeeded in maintaining the integrity of the school until her 2018 retirement. When she is not committed to her civic and vocational endeavors, Sister Souza enjoys gardening, sewing, reading and walking.
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