Cathy Jones ~ "Our Cathy"
By Patricia Jordan Snyder, California, United States
Editor’s Note: This article celebrates the life of Cathy Jones, April 9, 1925–September 17, 2016, and her contributions to the community of readers of The Urantia Book.
Graciousness seemed to come naturally to “Our Cathy.” She flowed with a calmness that held true, even in the dark, dark hours of physical testing that would have brought out the worst in most people. She maintained her strength of character, her humor, her faith, and her love.
At a wonderful Urantia conference in Seattle, Washington—my first—I met “Our Cathy.” I immediately felt as if she and I had been friends my whole life. I was entering a building when she came over and said, “Let’s go sit outside and talk.” With “Our Cathy’s” warm smile and beautiful countenance, it was like sitting in a sunny rose garden. “What a spiritually fragrant person,” I remember thinking. How lucky we are to have a reader of The Urantia Book such as she.
I knew nothing of my new friend’s accomplishments, and she never disclosed any of them to me. We spoke of the present and the future, of the lovely conference, and of the value of having more study groups. She laughed lovingly at Bert Cobb’s poem “Jesus Was a Working Man,” and we both marveled at the success of the conference. We spoke of the classes offered and of the amazing attendees like Judy Van Cleave and her dear friend Jan Bernard. We spoke of Benet Rutenberg’s identical twin; about Merindi Swadling from “Down Under”; about Will and Margo Sherwood’s class; about Chris Halvorson’s study group; about Ellen Gaynor’s tireless work; about Patrick Yesh’s art class, and about the fact that I live in Los Angeles, where “Our Cathy’s” best friend, Dorothy Elder, founder of the Urantia Book Internet School, lives. Yet, “Our Cathy” never mentioned the enormous role that she had played in keeping the Urantia Association International (UAI) on a steady heading.
It was not until much later that I discovered from her loving friends Jane and John Ploetz how much time and energy “Our Cathy” had expended to see that the UAI not only survived but also thrived. And so it has.
Our Cathy’s indefatigable efforts to revive unity were ever guided by the light of truth inspired by The Urantia Book.
“Our Cathy” selflessly dedicated much time and energy to the establishment of study groups all around the world. Through her dissemination of The Urantia Book and its teachings, many individuals, cities, and countries have been exposed to the Urantia Revelation.
At a Urantia Book conference in Chicago, Gaetan Charland, past president of the UAI, introduced “Our Cathy” as UAI’s “First Lady.” And so she was.
“Our Cathy’s” inspiring life of loving service quickens our response to brotherhood, love, and fellowship. May we continue her legacy in the family of man and the fatherhood of God.
This is not the end for “Our Cathy,” but it is...the end of the beginning.
Bon Voyage, “Our Cathy”
(An anonymous poem dedicated to Cathy Jones)
Standing on the dock, I watch as a ship
spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and sets sail for the ocean blue.
She’s a vessel of beauty and strength,
and I sit and watch her, until she hangs
like a speck on the horizon.
Someone at my side says, “There—she’s gone.”
But gone where?
She’s just as large in mast, hull, and spar
As she was when she left this dock.
And she’s just as able to bear her cargo
to her destined port, as she was
when she was anchored here.
Her diminished size is in us, not in her.
“There—she’s gone,” we say.
But there are other eyes,
who watch the far horizon for her sails.
And there are other voices ready now
to give the joyous shout: ”There she is.
Here she comes. Here she is—“Our Cathy.”
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