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Obituary | Sister Rose Colley, SL

Sr. Colley
The funeral Mass for Loretto Sister Rose Colley (formerly Sister John Martin) was celebrated Oct. 15 at the Church of the Seven Dolors on the grounds of Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Ky. She died Oct. 10 at Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary. Sister Rose was 90 and in the 72nd year of her life as a Sister of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross.

Sister Rose taught in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and was a longtime mediator, facilitator and trainer in mediation and conflict management nationally and internationally.

Born Jan. 15, 1928, in Nashville, Tenn., she entered the Sisters of Loretto in the fall of 1946 and was received into the congregation April 25, 1947, taking the name Sister John Martin. Sister Rose made first vows April 25, 1949, and final vows Aug. 15, 1952. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, with a minor in philosophy, in 1954 from Webster College in Webster Groves, a master’s in education in 1961 from Saint Louis University, and a master’s in community development in 1970 from the University of Louisville

In the archdiocese, Sister Rose taught elementary parochial school students in Cape Girardeau, then part of the archdiocese, at St. Vincent (1949 to 1950); in St. Louis at St. Rose (1950 to 1952), St. Michael (1952 to 1956) and St. Catherine (1956 to 1957); and in Webster Groves at Mary Queen of Peace (1957 to 1961).

Outside the archdiocese, she served for many years in Louisville, including as principal at Christ the King School (1961 to 1964) and as supervisor of schools for the Archdiocese of Louisville (1964 to 1970). Sister Rose was field coordinator for the Kentucky Teacher Core at the University of Louisville, associate director of the Council of Peacemaking, director of Just Solutions, and consultant for the WestEnd Community Council, among many works in justice and peace. She was a member of the Loretto staff in Denver and made her living as a consultant and facilitator to many U.S. religious communities and with international communities in England and Rome. Sister Rose also did training in Zimbabwe and Ghana. In 2012, she retired to Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary, where she carried out a ministry of prayer and presence and served her community until her death.

Survivors include a brother, John Colley of Nashville, and a sister, Agnes Colley Wheaton of Anchorage, Alaska.

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