By Katie Beckmann Mahon, Communications Manager
Throughout her ministry at St. Pius V Parish & School in Rhode Island, Sr. Shirley Jeffcott, OP, has impacted many lives.
Whether she was teaching in the school or answering phones in the parish office, Sr. Shirley has always done “whatever needs to be done” to support the St. Pius V community.
With the school year approaching, Sr. Shirley has been helpful to the St. Pius V School administration as she has met with the incoming principal to help her learn about the history of the school.
Along with preparing for the school year, Sr. Shirley has also been helping the parish welcome back parishioners to mass in person.
“The parishioners have been yearning to get back to church,” shared Sr. Shirley, a Sister of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York.
As excited as Sr. Shirley was for parishioners to return, they were just as happy to come back and see her familiar face (even with a mask.)
“I enjoy the people at the parish. A lot of people know me in the St. Pius V community.”
Many parishioners have either been taught or have had a relative taught by Sr. Shirley at St. Pius V School.
“Seeing students I taught as first graders in the sixties makes me feel good. I know I have affected their lives in a positive way.”
Sr. Shirley’s connection with students, along with her passion for education and her early interactions with Dominican Sisters, led her to pursue a vocation at a young age.
“I grew up in a Dominican parish and was surrounded by the friars and sisters. When I was preparing to graduate from high school, I was in church on Holy Thursday, and I felt strongly that God was calling me to religious life and to become a Dominican Sister.”
After her vocation, Sr. Shirley knew that she wanted to pursue education ministry.
“I’ve always loved teaching. Ever since I was young, I wanted to teach.”
Sr. Shirley would eventually find her long-term ministry at St. Pius V Parish & School, a community that has affiliated with the Sisters of Saint Dominic for many years.
“Our congregation has left a vibrant legacy there.”
That legacy is something that Sr. Shirley often reflects on when thinking about her ministry.
“When I reflect on my life and education ministry, I am deeply grateful to God that I have been, and hope to continue to be a significant part of so many different lives.”