Remembering Sister Janet Rieden, OSF (1934-2023)
Kristin Hanke

Sister Janet (M. Jonathan) Rieden passed into eternal life February 8, 2023, at Ascension Villa Franciscan Place. She was 89 years of age She entered the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate from her home parish, St. Patrick, in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, in 1954, and lived the Franciscan way of life for 69 years bringing joy and peace to all those whose life she touched.  

Sister Janet Rieden was born in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, to the late Peter J. and Catherine (Hentges) Rieden. She is survived by her devoted brother, Gordon Peter Rieden. An avid and dedicated high school teacher, Sister Janet will be missed by her colleagues, students, friends, and especially, the Joliet Franciscans.  Sister Janet attended St. Francis Academy (Joliet Catholic Academy), Joliet, Illinois, and continued her education at the College of St. Francis (University of St. Francis) in Joliet, Illinois, where in 1957 she earned her BA-cum laude in English. An inquisitive scholar, she continued her education receiving an MA in English Literature from Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois. Then she began her teaching career as a fifth-grade teacher to 60 students in Mansfield, Ohio.  The next two years she taught English at St. Francis Academy (Joliet Catholic Academy) in Joliet, Illinois, followed by three years at Sts. Peter and Paul in South Chicago, Illinois. 

The highlight of her career was the almost 50 years that Sister Janet spent at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  She enjoyed teaching Western European Literature and the History of Art. She served as Chair and Chair Emeritus of the English Department. Over the years she was moderator of the Student Council and many of the major organizations in the school. Sister Janet was one of the most prominent members of the Cardinal Gibbons faculty, successfully laying down the foundations for one of the nation’s top 50 Catholic High Schools. In 1994 she received the Golden Apple Award for her excellence in teaching and her talent to inspire learning. Teaching was truly her life calling. 

Sister Janet brought balance to her busy life by gardening and cultivating orchids. Even when she moved into the ministry of prayer and presence at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home, she was surrounded by the orchids that received her loving care. Her interest in reading continued to bring her joy as did stamp collecting and ancestry study. She was a joy to be with because she always had a story and a smile to share.  

Her warm hospitality and witty sense of humor were captivating.

Visitation for Sister Janet Rieden will take place at 8:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home on Thursday, February 16, 2023, followed by the Mass for Christian Burial at 9:00 a.m. Remembrances and Committal will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the Chapel at Resurrection Cemetery, 200 W. Romeo Rd. Romeoville, IL 60446. All are invited to attend. 
 The services will be viewable via live stream:

If you would like to make a donation in honor of Sister Janet Rieden or another Joliet Franciscan Sister, please send your memorial to the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate, 1433 Essington Road, Joliet, IL, 60435.

Fort Lauderdale Memorial Service

Thursday, February 16, 2023,
 6:00 PM

Cardinal Gibbons High School
 Chapel of the Holy Family, located in Ott Hall

Celebrant: Father Ryan Saunders
The services will be viewable via live stream: