Father Robert S. Jones, 83 of Orwell passed away Sunday morning at Seneca Hill Manor in Oswego.
Father Jones was born October 23, 1934 in Utica, NY to Theron and Mary (Jordan) Jones. He attended Blessed Sacrament and St. Francis de Sales High School in Utica and went on to attend LeMoyne College in Syracuse and St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester.
His first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Paul’s Church in Oswego from1960 to 1962 and St. John’s Church in Oswego from 1962 to 1966. While serving at St. John’s, Father Jones was also a faculty member at Oswego Catholic High School.
Father Jones went on to serve as associate pastor of Holy Trinity in Syracuse from1966 to 1970, St. Anthony’s in Syracuse from 1970 to 1972, at St Vincent’s in Syracuse from 1972 to 1975 and St. Matthew’s in East Syracuse from 1975 to 1979. He became pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Cleveland and St. Bernadette’s Church, Constantia from 1979 to 1992. He served at Elizabeth House, a Catholic Worker House in Bernard’s Bay in the 1990’s and has served as Chaplain of Unity Acres in Orwell since 1995. Unity Acres is a hospitality house for men battling addiction.
While Father Jones said he has enjoyed the challenges and rewards of his life in the priesthood, his time in the seminary was a different story. “I wasn’t really fond of the seminary to tell you the truth. Lots of heaviness and gloom. I know discipline is necessary, but I just decided that if I was going to stick it out, I was going to have to shake things up a bit, you know, get a laugh.”
So, the term paper he wrote through the alter ego of “Dr. Throckmorton Photius Gootch” and showing the paper to some of his fellow seminarians, he got quite a laugh. “It was a survival technique-a nonsense kind of thing” and the term paper even earned a B+.” I think the best part of my priesthood would be giving comfort and encouragement to people”, Father Jones said.
Father Jones was predeceased by his parents Theron and Mary Jones, his sister Betty Kroth, brothers Donald and William Jones. He is survived by two nieces, Karen Wise and Amy Jones and nephews Andrew Kroth and Jordan Jones and his Community Family at Unity Acres.
Vigil of a Priest will be held at St Lucy’s Church, Gifford St, Syracuse at 7 pm Tuesday July 24th and calling hours from 5pm – 7pm.
Funeral Mass will be Wednesday July 25th at 11am at Unity Acres Chapel, Orwell, NY with calling hours from 9am-11am, Father Paul Mathis officiating.
Private burial at St Mary’s Cemetery, DeWitt, NY
Contributions may be made to Unity Acres, PO Box 153, Orwell, NY 13426.
Arrangements are with Summerville Funeral Home, Sandy Creek.
2290 County Rt 2, Orwell NY 13426