- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Jean Frances McElligott, a reference librarian at Catholic University from 1970 to 2000 and a lay member of the Dominican Order, died of renal failure May 12 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. She was 78.

Miss McElligott was born Dec. 31, 1928, in White Plains, N.Y. She attended elementary school and high school there before being accepted at Notre Dame College, a women’s college on Staten Island, N.Y., that later merged with St. John’s University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in political science.

She also earned a master’s degree in U.S. history from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in library science from Columbia University.

Miss McElligott taught high school for three years, worked at the Library of Congress for five years and served as a librarian for the Center for Strategic Studies at Georgetown University. She then had a 30-year career as reference librarian at the Mullen Library at Catholic University in the District.

In 1983, she joined the Immaculate Conception Chapter of the Third Order of Preachers, the lay branch of the Dominican Order, which meets at the Dominican House of Studies in the District.

Miss McElligott was active in the chapter until her death, serving on the chapter council and in several leadership positions, including chapter secretary.

Miss McElligott was a former member of the parish council and liturgy committee at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in the District and the recording secretary of the St. Matthew’s Cathedral Club and the cathedral hagiographer.

She had been a member of the Baroque Papal Court in Exile, the John Carroll Society, Catholics United for the Faith, and Holy Trinity Choir. She was a loyal supporter of the annual March for Life for more than 30 years.

Her interests included adult education, writing, art, knitting, cooking, theater, conferences, lectures, art and cats.

“Jean was vivacious with a constant curiosity and quest for knowledge,” said Fran Griffin, former prioress of the Immaculate Conception chapter of the Dominican laity. “She possessed a great wit, in addition to a deep-felt devotion to the Dominican Order and the Catholic Church.”

The Rev. Francis Early, a priest who had known Miss McElligott for more than 30 years, remembers her as someone who “enjoyed silliness, but could not stand stupidity.”

Miss McElligott was preceded in death by two brothers. She is survived by a sister, Maureen McElligott of Arlington, and a brother, Donald McElligott of Staten Island, N.Y.

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