Sister Jean was truly an innovator in the fields of ministry she embraced. Her sensitivity to the hardships of others motivated her to imagine and accomplish practical ways to assist.
Sister Jean Bocian was born July 19, 1947, in Alton, Illinois. She was one of six children, two daughters and four sons of Edward and Elinor Stewart Bocian. The employment of Jean’s father by the US government involved frequent transfers, resulting in Jean’s attendance at several schools. She attended elementary school at Saint Frances Cabrini in New Orleans, the International School of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo, Japan, and Saint Gabriel in the Bronx. Jean spent her first two years of high school at Cardinal Spellman in the Bronx and her last two years at Saint Philip Catholic Central in Battle Creek, Michigan. Upon graduation, Jean entered the Sisters of Charity of New York on September 8, 1965.
Sister Jean received a BA in Mathematics from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and an MS in Education with a specialty in Reading from Fordham University. She earned New York State Permanent Certification in Reading K-12 and in Special Education.
Sister Jean’s years of active ministry included twenty-seven in elementary classrooms and twenty-five in service to immigrant families. Her teaching assignments included Visitation, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Dominic T.O.R.C.H. Program (To Reach Children), all in the Bronx, Sacred Heart and Incarnation, both in Manhattan, Saint Joseph, Yonkers, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Pelham Manor. In 1997, Sister Jean began a twenty-five-year ministry as Co-Director of the Sisters of Charity Multi-Service Center known as Casa de Esperanza with Sister Terese McElroy. The Center served immigrant families in Yonkers, offering classes in citizenship preparation, English as a Second Language, and skills for employment. Advocacy efforts offered access to social services, enabling immigrants to make a smoother adjustment to their new life.
In 1987, the dedication and creativity of Sister Jean as a teacher was recognized by the US Department of Education with a Christa McAuliffe Fellowship to begin an after-school program to improve reading and math skills of students in grades 1-6 in Yonkers. Sister Jean designed and directed the program named S.K.I.P (Special Kids Improving Performance) while continuing to teach full-time at Saint Joseph School.
Sister Jean was truly an innovator in the fields of ministry she embraced. Her sensitivity to the hardships of others motivated her to imagine and accomplish practical ways to assist. Through networking, she attracted others to support her care for the marginalized of society.
Sister Jean died on March 20, 2023, in Calvary Hospital, the Bronx, called by her God to the eternal life her faith always held in promise. Sister Jean was in the fifty-eighth year of commitment as a Sister of Charity of New York.
Sister Jean, we rejoice with you now as your loving God calls you home to the fullness of eternal life. Be at peace.
Date of Death
March 20, 2023
Friday, March 24, 2023 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Prayer Service at 9:30 a.m.
Flynn Memorial Home 1652 Central Park Avenue Yonkers, NY 10710
Live Streaming begins at 9:30 a.m.: https://venue.streamspot.com/d286a8ab
Friday, March 24, 2023 10:45 a.m.
St. Margaret of Cortona Church
6000 Riverdale Avenue Bronx, NY 10471
Live Streaming begins at 10:45 a.m.: https://venue.streamspot.com/217aa3db
Mount Saint Vincent Cemetery Date to be determined.
Archdiocese of New York
- Visitation School, Bronx, 1970-71, Teacher
- St. Gabriel, Bronx, 1971-72, Teacher
- Sacred Heart School, Manhattan, 1972-84, Teacher; Follow-thru Program
- Incarnation, Manhattan, 1984-86, Teacher
- St. Joseph School, Yonkers, 1986-88, Teacher
- S.K.I.P. (Special Kids Improving Performance) Program, Yonkers, 1987-91, C0-Director
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Pelham Manor, NY 1988-92, Teacher; Computer/Pre K-8
- St. Dominic T.O.R.C.H. (To Reach Children), Bronx, 1992-97, Teacher; Sp Ed/Pre-School
- Multi-Service Center, Yonkers, 1997, Administrative Intern
- Casa de Esperanza, Sisters of Charity Multi-Service Center, Yonkers, 1998-2005, Director
- Casa de Esperanza, Sisters of Charity Multi-Service Center, Yonkers, 2005-2022, Co-Director