Sister Grace Jones

We commend to your charity the soul of our beloved

Sister Grace Jones

who departed this life on January 30, 2013

in the sixty-seventh year of her religious life

Age: 87 years, 10 months, 10 days

Resurrection Service: Saturday, February 2, 2013, at 11 a.m.

Funeral arrangements are as follows: Viewing in the Community Room at Providence Heights on Friday, February 1 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. and on Saturday, February 2 from 9-11 a.m. Wake Service in the Community Room on Friday, February 1 at 7 p.m. Mass of Resurrection on Saturday, February 2 at 11 a.m. in the Mother of Divine Providence Chapel at Providence Heights.

"Faith is our light in our night, which light is God, our endless day." Julian of Norwich

Sister Grace Jones passed away quietly in her sleep early on Wednesday. Her passing surprised the Sisters with whom she lived. But Sister Grace died as she lived—gently and quietly. There was no apparent struggle. Her passing followed a very ordinary day in which she was fully engaged in the life of the Community at Providence Heights.

Sister Grace was the only child of Catherine Culp and Frank Jones. At birth she was named Catherine Grace. At Investment she received the name Sister Joseph Clair. When given the opportunity to return to her birth name in 1968, she chose to be Sister Grace. In hindsight, this name was most appropriate for her, since she was a source of grace and blessing to others in the ministries in which she was engaged. Grace was raised Lutheran and baptized and confirmed in that faith. Grace’s father left the family when she was still an infant, so her mother had to work to support herself and her child. Grace lived with her aunt, whom her mother paid for room and board and “rearing.” It was in her aunt’s home that she was introduced to Catholicism. She also had the good fortune to attend Our Lady of Mercy Academy for grades 6 to 12, even though she was not Catholic. These influences had significant impact on her, and she converted to Catholicism in 1942, while still a junior in high school. Her conversion to Catholicism was difficult for her mother. After completing high school, Sister Grace wanted to enter religious life, but knew the timing was not right. She worked for three years, got involved in the Catholic Action Movement, and sought a spiritual director. She entered the Community in 1946.

Sister Grace’s early years in ministry was as an elementary school teacher. She taught for eighteen years in Catholic schools in the dioceses of Pittsburgh and Detroit, and in dioceses in Massachusetts and Connecticut. She then moved on to serving as guidance counselor at the secondary school level for four years. Her success in this relatively new ministry did not go unnoticed. She was invited to be a part of the fledging La Roche College administration and served as its Dean of Students for a year and then as Director of Admissions. Always the entrepreneur and always responding to grace, Sister Grace answered the Community’s call to be the first coordinator of retired Sisters of Divine Providence. In the early years of this new ministry, she became involved in the Diocesan Sister’s Council and was elected president of the Diocesan Retirement Committee for Religious Women, a position she held for four years. Sister Grace would serve in the Community as coordinator of the retirement program for 24 years, but these years would be interrupted by a 10-year stint as chaplain in the pastoral care department at Divine Providence Hospital. For all of these positions, Grace was well qualified. She prepared academically and took advantage of ongoing education opportunities. Sister Grace was the 2000 recipient of the Marie de la Roche Award for her tireless years in internal ministry.

Sister Grace was on a spiritual journey for most of her 88 years. She wrote about her faith journey in a piece she called A Journey in Faith and Love. From her earliest years, she sought spiritual direction and took advantage of opportunities provided to deepen her own spiritual life so that she could enrich the lives of those she served. Sister Grace had a special devotion to Julian of Norwich and considered her a special patron.

Like her special patron, she knew personally that "All will be well...and all will be well...and all manner of things will be well." We rejoice with Sister Grace that her deepest desire of full union with God has been fulfilled. We also rejoice that she remains with us in the Communion of Saints.

Feast day: March 19

Written by Sister Maria Fest

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published an obituary on February 2. 

If you would like to make a gift to the Sisters of Divine Providence in memory of Sister Grace, visit our donation page.