Sister Joan Alflen

Preaching can take many forms, words being but one. - Tapestry in Time 2015

My neighborhood is my ministry. When I lived in a rural area where neighbors are far apart, I had neighborhood gatherings where people could visit and share. I was a cantor and member of St. Joseph’s choir in Onekama. Our Manistee Peace Group, an ecumenical gathering of staunch peacemakers, was  high on my agenda until I returned to live at Marywood in Grand Rapids in 2017.

My parish work included Friends Who Care Ministry in Kaleva, Mich and teaching art and spirituality with women in Omaha, Nebraska as part of the Esperanza “Hope” Ministry, a Hispanic ministry of the Archdiocese.

In my community at Marywood, I continue to participate in Bible Study and a weekly Adoration hour.

For the next couple decades of my life, I will choose to become closer to my God and serve more unselfishly. I can be a new creation and use the special raw material that is me. I love being older and a little slower because it gives me more time to reflect. It gives me more time to continue to hone these gifts a little more. When I was young, I liked to make people laugh, tell stories, ask ridiculous questions, dance fast, sing songs, draw pictures and meditate on nature wherever it turns up. Yes, I even forget sometimes. May I use this year to show mercy to those in need.

“Art is my passion.” 

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.”1 Corinthians 12:4

2022 – 66 Years a Sister

Prayer Ministry

Pray for peace

Sister Joan Alflen’s art evolves with her spirit. Her study and art featuring human figures is about peace-finding. A focus on  couples in love resulted in creations gifted to couples at the beginning of their lives together.

In 1993, Sister Joan Alflen started an art ministry facet of the Esperanza “Hope” Project, an Hispanic ministry of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska.

Read more in Tapestry in Time

In October 2006, Sister Joan flew to New Orleans on Palm Sunday to volunteer in the hurricane cleanup effort. She and her team of Dominican Sisters from Grand Rapids raised $7,000 to put toward expenses and contributions for those in need.

In ministry with Sister Joan Alflen, OP

Sisters Celebrate 75, 70, 60, 50 Year Jubilees as Vowed Religious


2019 Marywood Academy Annual Reunion Luncheon, Class of 1969 Celebrates 50th


Making a Difference in the Lives of People Who Need You


Celebrating the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe


Dominican Sisters Day of Service


Dominican Sisters Grand Rapids 2016 Jubilarians