Mystery Zag from Fall 2023: Sister Joy Milos

The Mystery Zag from the Fall 2023 Gonzaga Magazine is Sister Joy Milos, CSJ.
Sister Joy Milos

December 09, 2023
Gonzaga Magazine | Winter 2024

Sister Joy Milos, CSJ

Professor, Religious Studies, 1987-2018

Sister Milos dresses to a T and her bubbly enthusiasm for students and colleagues is well-known and appreciated. Her spirituality was based on that of the Society of Jesus. She is professor emerita of Religious Studies, where she taught a wide range of courses during her 31 years at Gonzaga. Colleagues lauded Milos for creating courses that transformed student lives. She especially loved sharing stories of women and their faith journeys. She directed retreats and workshops, taught abroad and helped create “Spirituality and the Arts of England.” Sr. Milos helped design and then directed a two-year training program for spiritual directors called “Hearing God’s Voice.” She was committed to an integration of spirituality and social justice in responding to our mission and took numerous groups of Gonzaga students on Habitat for Humanity Global Village experiences.

Reader Responses

I’m not a Gonzaga graduate but I do know Sister Joy Milos. We served on the Transitions for Women board of directors for a number of years. I remember her deep commitment to the marginalized people of Spokane, especially women and children. She’s an amazing woman.

— -Sister Pat Millen, OSF, Spokane

I would recognize Sr. Joy’s smile anywhere! Her laughter was infectious. During my years as program director of Transitions’ Women’s Hearth, I had the pleasure of getting to see Sr. Joy Milos in action as a dedicated volunteer who would breeze in and cook up a storm. She could make a casserole out of almost anything we happened to have in our pantry and would purchase any missing ingredients. She always had to get back to campus before the food was ready and didn’t get to witness how much the women at the Hearth loved her cooking. She was also especially welcoming to women who wanted to help her in the kitchen. Her cooking knowledge, patience and joyful attitude gave many women over the years the great gift of feeling seen and useful. They developed such pride in being able to help her provide a lovingly prepared hot meal. I feel very fortunate to know Sr. Joy and to have had the chance to witness one of the many ways she helps our community.

— Susan Tyler-Babkirk (’16 M.A.), Spokane

  I was in the inaugural (I believe) London study abroad program that Sr. Joy Milos started in the summer of 2009. I remember her being an absolute source of delight to learn from and travel with. She had the right amount of passion and enthusiasm for the material, and her attitude was infectious while abroad. I have great memories of her, the late Terry Gieber, and the students on that London trip sharing many laughs (and a couple of pints, too!) in English pubs after class and excursions.

— Taylor Viydo (’11), Spokane

I have known Professor Joy Milos since 1996 when we were members of the Spokane Habitat for Humanity board of directors. She was committed to the mission of Habitat to build decent affordable housing for God’s people in need. In 2000, Sister Joy and I traveled with several others to Peru where we built concrete block houses at 7,000 ft. elevation in Arequipa. The days were hot and the nights frigid, but Sister Joy never complained and shared a consciousness of JOY and GREAT SPIRIT with all of us and the local people for whom we were working together to make this mission possible. I admire her greatly.

— Christi Smith (audit student), Spokane

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