Sister Janice Heery, OP (Sister Jean Michael) of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, died July 14, 2015 in Haddon Heights, New Jersey. She was 78 years of age.

The daughter of the late John M. and Jessie (Downs) Heery, she was born July 22, 1936 in Woodbury, New Jersey.

Sister Janice entered the novitiate of the Dominican Sisters of Newburgh, New York, in September 1954, made her First Profession in June 1956, and Final Profession in August 1959. Sister Janice earned her BA in Elementary Education from Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, New York.

Her lifelong ministry was in education.  Among the places where Sister ministered are  Saint Brendan School in New Haven, Connecticut, from 1956-61; Cathedral Elementary School in Raleigh, North Carolina, from 1961-70; Saint Rose of Lima School in Haddon Heights from 1970-71 and 1976-85; and Saint Cecilia School in Iselin, New Jersey, from 1971-76 and 1985-90. Since 1990 Sister Janice was ministering at Saint Rose of Lima School in Haddon Heights, New Jersey.

Sister Janice is survived by her sister Barbara Burkhardt.


Condolence Letter From Rev. Dr. Barbara V. Thomas

To The Dominican Sisters of Hope

July 20, 2015


Condolences to you all on the loss of Sister Janice Heery, OP. (Sister Jean Michael).

I met Sr. Jean Michael in 1957 at St. Brendan’s right after I applied to the Sisters of Mercy.  I was impressed immediately by her kindness, honesty, sincere love of her vocation and by her wonderful sense of humor.  This meeting enabled me to make the choice to enter the Newburgh Dominicans less than a year later.

She became quite close to my family when I entered.  When she was my “companion” during home visits, my Mom and Dad would introduce her as their “6th daughter.” They all loved her.  She knew all my sisters, brother and their children and through the years she kept in touch with me always interested in the family. Recently my niece recalled what a fun and kind person Sister was and how she enjoyed sharing pancakes upstairs in our Nana’s house, and going swimming in my sister’s swimming pool.

Sister was always supportive of me during the 15 years I was in the community.  We ended up doing a lot of “shadowing” during those 15 years.  We both served in the South, me from 1960-1969 and she from 1961-1970.  She served in Raleigh and I in Durham.  When I left Durham I served at St. Rose for one year.  She took my place the following year when I began studying under my Chiropractic Scholarship….She continued to be supportive when I left the community in 1973.

Wherever Sr. Janice served, she served well and was loved by all.  She continued to inspire me through the years.

During my years studying Chiropractic, she also encouraged me in my pursuit to become a minister.  Most recently I was honored to have her in the congregation of a small church in Westville, NJ when my husband and I officiated at the service there.  We remember with fondness our wonderful lunch afterward when we were able to “catch up” on family and community news.

Such wonderful memories she gave all of us. Thank you God for loaning her to us all these years.

I am sure she occupies a “special place” in heaven as she continues her ministry of LOVE.


Rev. Dr. Barbara V. Thomas

(Sister Catherine Edward, Sr. Barbara Vedder)



Donations in Sister Janice’s memory can be made to the Development Office of the Dominican Sisters of Hope.