May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Mary Cyrilla Jegla, RSM

Sr. Mary Cyrilla Jegla, RSM, died April 7, 2021, at the age of 89.

Sister Mary Cyrilla was born in Lansing, Michigan, to Cyril and Rose (Fedewa) Jegla on June 17, 1931. She was given the baptismal name of Mary Lou, and was the third of eight children. The family moved to a farm near Westphalia several years later, where everyone helped with the chores. They attended Catholic school. She led a happy childhood. 

Mary Lou graduated from high school in 1950. She joined the Sisters of Mercy in Detroit the following September and received her religious name, Sister Mary Cyrilla. After several years of preparation, she made final vows on Aug. 16, 1956. Her early years of ministry were in education where she served as a teacher and principal in several parochial schools. Children in Cheboygan, Manistee, Hemlock, Ada, Port Huron, and Detroit benefited from her classes. 

Richard A. Henry Funeral Home is handling the funeral services that are now underway in Battle Creek.
Sr. Mary Cyrilla Jegla, RSM

In 1971, Sister Mary Cyrilla was ready to move into a new ministry. She became administrator of the Sisters of Mercy vacation home in Battle Creek. She managed it with exceptional skill, as she welcomed all who came for needed rest. This, however, was not a long-term commitment. 

After a year’s sabbatical, Sister Mary Cyrilla joined the staff of St. Joseph Parish in Battle Creek as a pastoral minister where she gave special attention to the sick and elderly. This ministry quickly expanded to include most parish activities. Likewise, her years of service grew to nearly 40 years, until 2015, after which she remained as a volunteer until aging and illness required her full retirement. St. Joseph's Parish held a major celebration on her 60th anniversary as a Sister of Mercy in 2010. The parishioners commended this vibrant woman for all she did. They wrote, “She assists with baptisms, lectors at Mass, makes sick calls, instructs and counsels, takes food to the poor, can maintain the furnace, and polish the floor. She can lay tile, sew, repair and fix broken plumbing. She is also a parish chauffer, raises flowers for the church, sings in the choir, and plays the accordion.” The tribute also noted her “genuine warmth and a ready laugh that welcomes people to her.” In her honor, the parish center has been renamed the Sister Cyrilla Jegla, RSM Parish Center. To all of this she responded, “I have simply used my gifts.” 

The Mercy community treasures Sister Mary Cyrilla's memory as well. She is remembered as prayerful, joyful, and one who was always willing to give her best. Sister Rene’ Bourque recalled Sister Mary Cyrilla’s infectious laugh and her joyful presence at community meetings. Patricia Peck, a woman who opened her home to Sister when the St. Joseph Parish Convent closed, spoke of how she'll treasure their friendship and how dearly the people of the parish loved her. 

Richard A. Henry Funeral Home is handling the funeral services that are now underway in Battle Creek.

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