Celebrating Our Jubilarians – S. Jean Marian (Cookie) Crowley
“I am a spoiled child – of God, my family (the Crowley clan) and my Sisters of Charity Community. I have lived and enjoyed a life of privilege in which I have always felt loved and cherished by people in my life,” said Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Jean Marian (Cookie) Crowley, who celebrates 60 years of religious life in 2020.
A native of Mount Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio), Sister Cookie was the ninth of 10 children and attended 12 years of Catholic education taught by the Sisters of Charity. Sister said she was inspired by both the Sisters and her family to enter the Congregation.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in education from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati) in 1965, Sister Cookie was missioned as a first grade teacher to St. Leo, Detroit, Michigan (1964-’66); St. Charles, Lima, Ohio (1966-’71); and St. William, Cincinnati (1971-’75). In 1975 Sister was asked to work with the children at St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Cincinnati.
“I had spent several summers there and really enjoyed it,” Sister Cookie said. “It was a 24/7 ministry, hard work and lots of struggles with the kids, but we all worked hard to help them with the burdens they carried and to start building good memories for them.”
In 1982 Sister Cookie said it was time to move on and knew that she wanted to be involved “in a place where kids could actually live in a house and be kids.” She learned of the Boys Hope Program, which helps academically capable and motivated children-in-need to meet their full potential by providing value-centered, family-like homes, opportunities and education through college. Her discovery came just as there were plans to start a home in Cincinnati.
“I looked at a six-room house on the property of St. Xavier High School, and a year later, after lots of hard work, it was a 14-room home ready for eight boys. I had the privilege of working in that ministry for 18 years.”
In 2000 Sister Cookie was named director of Sisters’ Services at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse, or as she called it, the “dean of discipline.” After 18 years faithfully serving Sisters in residence at the Motherhouse, arranging celebrations and outings, she retired. Currently she volunteers with the Spirituality Department in Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility—helping when needed with Masses, Communion services, and many other needs. She says she enjoys the time she now has to visit with the Sisters in residence in both Assisted Living and Nursing.
In addition, Sister Cookie continues to work with the team of Sisters and staff who prepare the Sisters’ final celebration of life. “I am honored to continue in that ministry and to date (July) 2020 – the year of the COVID-19 pandemic – I have been privileged to assist at 391 funerals celebrating the lives of women who are truly wonders.”
As she reflected on her 60 years as a Sister of Charity, Sister Cookie said, “I have lived with and met remarkable Sisters of Charity. I have been privileged to teach and minister to and with fine, fine people of God, and for that I am humbled and grateful.”