Joan is the mother of seven grown children, and grandmother of thirteen. She presently serves on the board of Saint Paul Seminary’s Institute for Ongoing Clergy Formation
. Joan helped establish: St. John the Baptist’s Perpetual Adoration, Lake Minnetonka Life-Care Center, and the St. John of the Cross Study Group. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Holy Family High School, Victoria, Minnesota, during the initial phase of its development. She was under the spiritual direction of the late Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M., from 1991 until his death in 2010.
In 1985, she and her husband established, owned and operated a bed and breakfast in Excelsior, Minnesota. Their bed and breakfast was featured in Better Homes & Gardens Magazines, Twin Cities Live TV show, and Better Homes and Gardens Travel show (cable). The Inn closed its doors in 2003 when the property was sold to a developer.
Her brother, Bishop Peter Christensen, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in 1985. In addition to serving in parish ministry, he served as rector of the Saint John Vianney College Seminary and was ordained bishop for the Diocese of Superior, Wisconsin, in 2007. In 2014, Pope Francis appointed him as the bishop of Boise, Idaho.