Sister Dorothy Jacko, SC (Formerly Sister Michael Ann)

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Sister Dorothy Jacko, SC, age 83, died at Caritas Christi, the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill in Greensburg, on August 9.

Born in Johnstown, PA, Sister Dorothy entered the congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill on September 8, 1959 from Saint Francis Assisi Parish in Johnstown.  Preceded in death by her parents, Michael and Anna (Baran) Jacko and a brother, Lawrence, she is survived by two sisters: Mrs. Janet Ford and Mrs. Carol Roberts, nieces and nephews. 

She earned a bachelor’s degree in history, Spanish from Seton Hill University, a master’s degree in history from Temple University, a master’s degree in liturgy from Notre Dame University, and a doctorate in theology from Regis College, Toronto.

Sister Dorothy began teaching in high schools in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. From 1971-1973, she was an instructor in history at Seton Hill University. From 1973-1981, she served as the director of development and concurrently as director of institutional planning from 1974-1976. During her term as director of development, she authored or co-authored several important funded grant proposals.  From 1982-1983, Sister Dorothy was assistant professor of religious studies and theology at Seton Hill University.  She was granted academic leave for doctoral studies from 1983-1987, and then returned to assume the role of assistant professor of religious studies and theology where she was named the department chair and served from 1987-1991.  During that period, in 1989, she ministered also as director of the Institute for Today’s Ministries, a program co-sponsored with the Diocese of Greensburg. In 1991, Sister Dorothy was named associate professor of theology and department chair, a position she held until 2013. 

A distinguished scholar, Sister Dorothy received the Jean-Marc LaPorte  Presidential Scholarship from Regis College in Toronto for the years 1984-1986, and her paper entitled, “Schillebeeckx’s Creation-Based Theology as Basis for an Ecological Spirituality” was accepted for publication in the Annual Volume of the College Theology Society. In 1995, representing the Sisters of Charity and Seton Hill University, Sister Dorothy participated in an NGO (non-governmental organizations) Forum on Women held in Beijing, China. In July 2004, her work, “The Uniqueness and Universality of Jesus Christ in Dialogue with the Religions” was published on the College Theology Society Web Site. 

Of her life as a Sister of Charity, Sister Dorothy reflected, “The charism of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill is to serve Christ through serving his poor.  I do this mainly by educating my students about the issues contributing to poverty and teaching them how they can become advocates for the poor in their own lives and future work.”

 Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Charity, De Paul Center, 144 DePaul Center Road, Greensburg, PA 15601. For more information visit the website, www.scsh.org