January 09, 2014

Jeanette Grider

Sister Dolores Greeley, RSM, 1927-2013

Sister Dolores Greeley, RSM, a former associate professor and undergraduate director of theological studies at Saint Louis University, died Dec.9. She was 86 years old.

Sister Dolores Greeley, RSM

A Sister of Mercy for more than 68 years, Sister Greeley entered the order in 1945 and professed first vows in 1945 and final vows in 1951.

She received her undergraduate degree from Webster University in 1958 and went on to earn her master's degree in liturgical music from the University of Notre Dame in 1964 as well as her Ph.D. in theology in 1971.

Sister Greeley joined the SLU faculty as an assistant professor in the department of theological studies in 1975, and also served as director of graduate studies and the women's studies program. She retired from SLU in 2001.

Frank Nichols, D ès Th, an associate professor in the department of theological studies and a longtime colleague of Sister Greeley, said her impact on those around her was life changing.

"Not only was she an excellent scholar, teacher and administrator, but she was a treasured fellow faculty member and a living saint," Nichols said. "She had compassion for the weakest, the poorest, the least attractive among us and among our students. In all those years, I never heard her say an unkind word about any faculty person, administrator or student. I couldn't say that about myself or about most ordinary human beings I run into. We will miss her sorely."

Prior to joining SLU, Sister Greeley was an elementary school teacher and principal in Missouri and Illinois and an assistant theology professor at Maryville University. She also took part in the historic civil rights march in Selma, Ala., was active in the ecumenical community and participated in a meeting of women theologians in China.

Sister Greeley is survived by two sisters, Sister Mary Ellen Greeley, RSM, of St. Louis; Lynn Hale of Troy, Mo.; and a brother, Raymond Greeley of Lake View, Ark.

A memorial Mass was celebrated Dec. 13 at the Mercy Center Chapel in Frontenac, Mo.

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