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Sister's heart guided her to caring for elderly

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By Jerry Vondas
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Sister Grace Jones' contemporaries knew well that once she said she would pray for you, she prayed for you actively and by name.

That is how Sister Mary Joan Coultas, program coordinator at Kearns Spirituality Center at Divine Providence in McCandless, described her colleague, Sister Grace Jones.

“Although Sister Grace had a list of people she would pray for every day, she never forgot to pray for those throughout the world who were suffering in war areas, like Somalia, where children were starving and being mistreated,” said Sister Coultas.

Sister Grace Jones of McCandless, a Sister of Divine Providence formerly known as Sister Joseph Clair and a former dean of students and director of admissions for La Roche College in McCandless, died on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, at Providence Heights, McCandless. She was 88.

“I was also her football tutor,” Sister Coultas added. “Sister Grace would join several of the sisters and me in watching the Steelers on TV. She didn't quite understand the plays and I would relate on what had happened.”

Born in the East End, Sister Grace Jones was raised by her mother and her aunt in a Lutheran household, where she attended Our Lady of Mercy Academy before converting to Catholicism in 1942.

“Sister Grace had the qualifications to minister to the elderly and to those in hospitals,” said Sister Coultas. “Her peace-sense of compassion fitted her call. She began to take courses in health care for the geriatric patients.

“One of the reasons that Sister Grace fit into the hospital ministry was her kind, peace-filled demeanor, which is important to those who are hospitalized and needed a reassuring hand,” said Sister Coultas. “And she could see an increase of older people, especially in the North Side area. She had a great love in working with the aging and wrote several articles and poems addressing pastoral care and retirement.”

Sister Grace was an active member of the Sisters' Council, served on the Diocesan Retirement Committee and was president of the committee for four years. She was a member of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.

Sister Grace was preceded in death by her parents, Catherine and Frank Jones.

Friends will be received from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Providence Heights, 9000 Babcock Blvd., McCandless. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Mother of Divine Providence Chapel. Arrangements are by Anthony G. Staab Funeral Home Inc., Elliot.

Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or jvondas@tribweb.com.

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