Choosing a Bigger Life
Young June Canoles was not doing well in public school. Knowing that a change was needed, her mother enrolled her at Villa Angelica, the war-time school just opened by the Sisters of Notre Dame at their retreat center in Carmel. Later June would become a boarder at Moreland Notre Dame School in Watsonville also run by the Sisters. Though not a Catholic at the time, June loved the school, the girls and the Sisters.
By 1948, in her senior year of high school, June was dating a boy, playing violin in the Monterey Symphony Orchestra and riding motorcycles. She knew she could be happy marrying the boy and raising a family together. “But,” she thought, “if I become a Sister my life will be bigger, with wider influence.” She chose to become a Sister and remembers entering the convent thinking, “I’m home!”
The classroom soon became home too, as Sr. June plunged into teaching second grade at Sacred Heart in Salinas. She would go on to teach primary grades throughout California, Oregon and Washington, including St. Francis of Assisi in Seahurst, WA, Sacred Heart School in Saratoga, CA, and at her alma mater, Moreland in Watsonville, CA. She would also direct a 60-voice children’s choir at Mt. Carmel in Redwood City.
Sr. June loved teaching and children, but after 36 years she was ready for a new challenge. During the ’70s she received permission from the provincial superior to explore the science of handwriting analysis (graphology) as a ministry option. After extensive training Sr. June took on clients and was aided by Sr. Harriet Dow, OSF, who helped her build the business. Corporations were particularly keen to discover if prospective employees were efficient, honest, decisive, optimistic, able to multi-task and had good interpersonal skills. Religious orders wanted to know if a candidate was a good match for religious life. Individuals called hoping to discover traits about themselves.
As the business grew, Sr. June and Sr. Harriet founded insyte, Inc. (1983). “The insyte dream was a quiet and subtle ministry…reaching out to all people, the church, unchurched, the fallen, the abused-especially women-using handwriting analysis to support, encourage and motivate them to reach their full potential; to believe in themselves.” Business associate Loretta DuBois shares, “Sr. June’s reputation among handwriting analysts is well known and far reaching and her knowledge of the craft is precise, effective and admirable.”
Now an octogenarian, Sr. June is winding down the insyte ministry, but enjoys helping with the kinders at Notre Dame Elementary School, Belmont, and assisting the Development office. She is grateful for choosing “the bigger life.”