Sister Janice Ryan, a leader for education equity in Vermont, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, at the age of 86.
“She was a beautiful force for good and a social justice icon in Vermont,” said Mercy Connections’ Executive Director, Lisa Falcone.
With other Vermont Sisters of Mercy, Sister Janice, a former President of Trinity College, played a leading role in the founding of Mercy Connections when Trinity College closed in 2001. They created Mercy Connections to continue education, particularly Trinity College’s Women’s Small Business Program, a cutting-edge program that launched hundreds of women business owners in Vermont. Sister Janice, former deputy commissioner of the Department of Corrections and an advocate for the dignity of incarcerated women, helped start the Vermont Women’s Mentoring Program to assist justice-involved women in transitioning successfully back into the community.
“Sister Janice was deeply committed to the mission and work of our organization, which she championed throughout her life,” said Falcone.
In 2013, the Board of Trustees of Mercy Connections honored Sister Janice with the Catherine McAuley Award, the organization’s highest honor named for the founder of the Sisters of Mercy.
“Sister Janice epitomized women leadership for so many, myself included,” Falcone said. “We at Mercy Connections are humbled and grateful to carry on her legacy. We will miss her profound presence dearly.”