Author Recalls Influence of Sister Jo B, Encouragement to Study Law

Posted by Kacie Emmerson

July 12, 2022

Russ Canan was a young man just out of college when he worked one summer with Sister Joseph Beatrice “Jo B” Eyl in Smithfield, NC at the East Coast Migrant Health Project. What he experienced that summer and learned from her influenced him for the rest of his life. He later studied law and eventually became a judge in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. They remained friends until her death in 1995.

Canan recently visited Nazareth and Sister Jo B’s grave. Click here to read the first chapter of his book, Pursuing the Horizon, Stories of Justice, which features his time with Sister Jo B.

Pictured at top, Lee Canan, Lee Smith-keir, Sister Susan, Russ Canan, Sister Brenda, Patricia and Greg Smith. Pictured above, Canan autographed three copies of his book for Nazareth.


  1. Jo Paulin, SCNA

    How wonderful that he wanted to tell his story about Sr. Jo B! It made me wish I had known her.
    I would love to read the book. After I read the first Chapter I wanted to read more. Where can I get a copy?

  2. S. Rita Davis

    What a wonder-filled tribute to Jo B! Thanks for sharing,

  3. Liz Wendeln

    And the charism of charity continues to vibrate in new ways!!!

  4. Eugenie Coakley scna

    Another example of the broad and deep influence of SCNs for the good of the world. As well, Judge Canan amplified that influence in his own way to bring about justice through the law. I hope his book is read widely.


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