Sr. Mary Joyce Barsotti (Sr. Peter Mary Barsotti) was born in Portland, Oregon, on July 25, 1940, the 4th of 10 children of the Bruno and Catherine Irene (Hart) Barsotti family. Sr. Joyce died at the SSMO Motherhouse convent on April 12, 2021. Her trust was in the Lord’s assurance: “I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full!”
Although the Barsotti family was active in St. Cecilia’s parish, the six Barsotti girls attended all 12 years of basic education at St. Mary of the Valley (now, Valley Catholic School). Unique to Sr. Mary Joyce’s class was that they made their First Holy Communion in the Motherhouse convent chapel. For Sr. Joyce, this was significant as 15 years later she pronounced her religious vows, subsequently celebrated her 25th, 50th, and 60th Religious Jubilees, and on April 16, 2021, her funeral services were in this same chapel.
After completing high school and a year at Gonzaga University, Sr. Joyce entered the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, August 15, 1960. She continued her education at Marylhurst College/University (BS Education, 1963), Mt. Angel Abbey (MA Theology, 1979), St. Louis University (IRF, 1990), and continued updating at University of Portland and Gonzaga University. Sr. Joyce began her 24 years of Catholic education ministry at Sacred Heart School, (Tillamook), and served at St. Cecilia (Beaverton), St. Boniface, (Sublimity), St. Mary’s (Spokane), and St. Mary’s (Stayton). The last 25 years of Sr. Joyce’s active ministry have been working with adults. For 15 years, as Pastoral Associate at St. Vincent de Paul (Salem), Sr. Joyce proclaimed the Good News of God’s love in her work with parish education and activities. She continued this outreach assisting with parish adult religious education when living in Beaverton. A woman of prayer, simplicity, love, and compassion, Sr. Joyce’s vibrant joy and wonder in the God Who so loved her was evident daily, but most apparent in her 10 years in formation work with new SSMO members and in her work as a SSMO Leadership Team member, 2010 to 2015.
Sr. Joyce lived in joyful and caring relationships with her family, her SSMO community, her many friends and co-workers, our Catholic Church, and our loving God. One aspect of this relationship with the Church was her expertise and passion for Sacred Liturgy. She served on the Steering Committee for the Annual Family Summer Conference at Mt. Angel for 34 years; 27 of those years she had responsibility for liturgy. Working in parishes in Salem and Beaverton for over 15 years, Sr. Joyce developed and extended the Liturgy of the Word for children. Spreading God’s Word was the goal of her work with the SSMO sponsored Bethany Center presentations Sr. Joyce worked to unite people in the best ways: Sacred Liturgy and her great, homemade Italian food!
One of Sr. Joyce’s favorite quotations was from Irenaeus: “The glory of God is humanity fully alive!” The Barsotti family, Bruna McBride, Joann and Len Cooper, Rae Coleman Barsotti, Bobbie and Bruce Weber, Mike and Jo Barsotti, Patricia and Gary Young, Tony and Regina Barsotti, Dick and Deb Barsotti, Steve and Paula Barsotti, her many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, aunt Jean Volz, her SSMO Sisters, her co-workers, and friends—Elaine Park, Sr. Joan Spiering, RGS, Jackie Staley, Sharon Davis–among many others– celebrate the life and gifts of Sr. Mary Joyce Barsotti—a woman fully alive for God!
May Sister Joyce rest in God’s loving embrace.