We met thirty years ago when she was our new Director of Faith Formation at our parish in San Diego. From the minute I met Sr. Joan Derry we were as the Irish say, “Anam Caras,” soul friends. She has been a dear friend and most importantly my spiritual mentor for all these years. Being Irish, she certainly knows how to have fun and live life to the fullest. Her love of people and love for the Lord is evident in all she does. She was constantly encouraging me to find my own gifts and use them for the glory of God. This has led me to the work I do in ministry today. As a God coincidence, our daughter has been attending college only minutes from where Sr. Joan lives in Northern California. We have been able to see each other frequently and continue to grow this special friendship of ours. Friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I am blessed to have “Sister Dearest” as she is affectionately called, as my friend for a lifetime!