Joan Frances Gormley

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Joan Frances Gormley (died October 19, 2007), a consecrated virgin in the Catholic Church, was an American scholar in the fields of classical literature and of biblical studies. She was a professor in the Department of Sacred Scripture at Mount St. Mary's Seminary. She translated and produced a number of works by leading Catholic mystics, such as Saints Edith Stein and John of Avila.

Early life[edit]

Gormley was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one of 13 children. After high school, she entered the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, which she later left. She attended Trinity College in Washington, D.C., after which she earned a Masters of Arts in Classics from Harvard University. She then went on to receive a doctorate in New Testament Studies from Fordham University in New York City.[1]

After receiving her doctorate, Gormley returned to her alma mater, Trinity College, where she taught classics and theology. During this time, she did post-doctoral studies at the École Biblique in Jerusalem.[2] She did extensive research on the life and writings of St. Therese of Lisieux, to whom she had a strong devotion, at the Theresian Documentation Center in Lisieux, France, as well as her work on that of the German-Jewish convert, St. Edith Stein.[1]

In 1988 Gormley joined the faculty of Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where she taught scripture to the seminarians. She spent the Fall semester of 2003 on a sabbatical. During this time, she researched the life and writings of the Spanish priest, St. John of Avila, patron saint of the Spanish clergy, who had recently been declared a Doctor of the Church. Her work resulted in a modern translation of his best known work, Audi, filia (Listen, O Daughter).[2] She was promoted to professor in the department in 2004. An active participant in a number of theological associations, she published a commentary on Dei Verbum (the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation), issued by the Second Vatican Council, for Catholic Distance University.[3]

Gormley died in 2007. Her remains were buried in Calvary Cemetery in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Obituaries: Sister Joan Frances Gormely". The News Journal. October 24, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b Avila, John of; Gormley, Joan Frances, translator (2006). Audi, filia - Listen, O Daughter. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press. p. viii. 
  3. ^ Johnson, John R. (Fall 2004). "A New Full Professor". Mount St. Mary's Seminary. Vol. 9 (No. 1). 
  4. ^ "Sister Joan Frances Gormley". The Baltimore Sun. October 22, 2007.