Stories of Friends of St. Gertrude’s

John and Joan Carley are donors who made a significant impact in the recent new WiFi network and computer project for St. Gertrude’s. They learned about the project in last fall’s appeal that explained how the Monastery’s existing network and equipment dated back to the early days of the internet.

“I thought if they are still working with the original equipment, they are really going to need an updated system,” explains John. “The sisters do a wonderful job of helping others. This will help them do their ministries.”

Joan Carley is a Boise native who was educated by the sisters at St. Mary’s and St. Theresa’s Catholic Schools. Joan’s parents actively supported the sisters. “My mom and dad became very close to the nuns. My mom would collect food from farmers’ fruit stands and lead canning projects for the sisters — in actual cans, not jars.” Her parents also bought a dining room set for the teaching sister’s Boise residence. The set is now the center of a meeting room at the Monastery. John was raised in Boise and became Catholic after he married Joan.

Sister Clarissa Goeckner was principal of St. Mary’s when the Carley’s children attended. “You could get a Christmas card from her in June,” laughs John, “but she remembers so much about our family. She is such a dear friend.”

John and Joan now have nine grandchildren. They split their time between homes in Boise and McCall. They are active at St. John’s Cathedral, St. Paul’s Catholic Student Center at Boise State University, and Our Lady of the Lake parish in McCall. A retired president of Albertson’s, John enjoys photography, the outdoors, travel, and fishing.

“The sisters really touch your heart,” says Joan. “They taught our children. It’s very easy to be around them and have your heart touched.”

“We’ve always been impressed with their hard work,” says John. “I thought if we can help them out a bit that’s what we’ll do.”