"How Good is the Good God!"-St. Julie Billiart
In 1943, Janice Carmen, SNDdeN, was born in Newton, MA, joining her older sister, Joan.
In her early years, Sister Janice spent a great deal of time with her paternal grandparents, as her mother worked in a factory and her father drove a truck. She credits her grandmother for teaching her 'math facts' as they spent hours playing Parcheesi.
They also spent time each evening praying the Rosary with then-Archbishop Cushing.
Sister Janice first met the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at St. Bernard School in West Newton, MA, where she was taught by Sister Mary Timothy in the first grade. As time went on, her "Auntie Alice" entered with the Sisters and forged another connection. Visits to Newton Street, Waltham and other SNDdeN convents soon followed.
Sister Janice first thought about entering religious life when she was a sophomore in high school. In 1961, after graduating from St. Bernard's, she entered the novitiate in Waltham, MA. In July 1962 she— along with the postulants, other novices and professe— moved to the new novitiate in Ipswich, MA. In 1964, it was there that she pronounced her first vows.
After spending two and half years in the juniorate at Wenham, MA, Sister Janice began her teaching ministry at Our Lady of the Angels school in Worcester, MA, where she taught seventh and eighth graders. Her most vivid memory of her first mission is being terrified to appear in public and her classroom wearing the newly adopted 'modified' habit—with legs and hair showing!!
Sister Janice's first four missions all revolved around teaching in the science field. Her mission to Hudson Catholic High School (HCH) was a highlight. HCH was a small school in a small town where school was the focus of life—academic as well as social. Students were very involved in school and its many activities.
The '70s and '80s were times of transition, and Sister Janice transitioned from the classroom to the Guidance Office and eventually back into the classroom as a student. What stands out from those years was ministering in the Diocesan Schools Office in Springfield, MA. In that capacity, Sister Janice had the opportunity to work with and meet so many Sisters from different religious communities and to realize that there are really so many common characteristics!
Sister Janice is grateful to the Congregation for the many opportunities she has received. She is grateful to be an SNDdeN and a part of something larger than her world.
After surviving double-bypass surgery and stent placement in December 2020, Sister Janice is grateful to be alive, and lives by St. Julie's motto—"How good is the Good God!"—which she sometimes hears as a question and repeats as an exclamation!
Sister Janice's Ministries
1966-68 Our Lady of the Angels, Worcester, Mass.
1968-70 Academy of Notre Dame, Tyngsboro, Mass.
1970-71 Bishop Stang High School, North Dartmouth, Mass.
1971-80 Hudson Catholic High School, Hudson, Mass.
1980-86 Notre Dame Academy, Hingham, Mass.
1986-88 University of Massachusetts/Doctoral Program, Amherst, Mass.
1988-98 Diocesan Schools Office, Springfield, Mass.
1998-2006 Academy of Notre Dame, Hingham, Mass.
2006-Present Sacred Heart High School, Kingston, Mass.