Sister Joy Elaine Gilder was born in St. Louis entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1958 and was received into the novitiate as Sister Frances Michael in 1959. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Fontbonne College in 1974.
In 1963, Sister Joy began teaching elementary education in Mobile, Alabama, at Little Flower Grade School. She moved to St. Louis in 1966 and taught for two years at St. Luke the Evangelist Grade School (1966-1968), followed by five years at St. Patrick Grade School in St. Joseph, Missouri. In 1973, she took classes in special education at Fontbonne College. She returned to teaching and, for the next 10 years, taught at Immacolata in St. Louis (1974-1976); at St. Rose of Lima in Houston, Texas (1976-1983); and at St. Cletus in St. Charles, Missouri (1983-1984).
In 1984, Sister Joy began her eight-year ministry in elder care in St. Louis. She served at St. Jude/Villa Capri Manor for a year, followed by seven years at Nazareth Convent.
In the 1990s, she also taught at St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf and Childgarden School. From 1999 to 2008, she served her CSJ community as a printing and mailing assistant at the province motherhouse.
For the next six years, Sister Joy served the Carondelet neighborhood as an outreach worker for the Carondelet Community Betterment Federation from 2008 to 2012 and as a volunteer until her retirement in 2014.
Sister Joy enjoys music, reading, walking, and nature. She also values time playing cards with her community, family and friends.