A memorial Mass for Loretto Sister M. Cecily Jones was celebrated July 29 at the Church of the Seven Dolors on the grounds of Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Ky. Sister Cecily, known by many as "Peggy," was a poet, longtime peace and justice advocate, former dean of students at Webster College (now University) in Webster Groves, and once served as campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Pat Schroeder of Colorado.
Sister Cecily, 93, died July 18 at Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary.
Born in East St. Louis, Ill., and baptized Margaret Blanche Jones, she entered the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross in 1946. Sister Cecily made her first vows in 1948 and her final vows in 1952. She received a bachelor's in English in 1945 from Webster College, a master's in English from St. Louis University in 1953 and a master's in theology from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1964.
Sister Cecily taught English in Mobile, Ala., before moving to St. Louis in 1949 to serve at Webster College, where she taught English from 1949 to 1961 and was dean of students from 1955 to 1961. She later taught Scripture at Loretto Junior College in Nerinx, Ky., served at Loretto Center in Littleton, Colo., and taught English at a high school in Sterling, Ill. She served as secretary and driver for Loretto Superior General Sister Mary Luke Tobin, Loretto's communications director and secretary and registrar for the Thomas Merton Center for Creative Exchange in Denver, among other roles.
In 2003, she moved to Loretto Motherhouse, where she continued her writing. Her most recent book of poems, "Mostly for Promise," marked the end of Loretto's 200th jubilee year in 2012. Sister Cecily founded the Loretto Community's internal newsletter, Interchange, and served as its first publisher, editor and writer for 16 years.
Sister Cecily donated her body to the University of Louisville (Ky.) medical school.