Recognized and revered as a woman of Mercy, Sister Helen shared her gifts and talents with others.
Sister Helen entered the Sisters of Mercy on December 28, 1944 and professed final vows in June 1950. Sister Helen earned a bachelor’s degree in education and theology, and a certificate in special education from the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut. Always a learner, she enrolled in numerous certificate programs to enhance her effectiveness in the classroom.
She taught kindergarten, first grade, and served as school principal for 54 years in Connecticut Catholic elementary schools. Sister Helen formed lifetime friendships with the faculty, staff and families of students whose lives were impacted by her wisdom, guidance, and positive approach to life and its challenges.
After completing her time as a classroom teacher and principal, she designed and staffed tutorial services for children at St. Joseph School in Meriden, Connecticut. In 2007, Sister Helen retired to the Frances Warde Towers at Saint Mary Home in West Hartford, Connecticut. There she enlivened the lives of the residents with stories about the “little ones” she taught; often saying, “little children are my specialty.” She also spent time reading to the children at the University of Saint Joseph’s School for Young Children and serving as a surrogate grandparent on Grandparents’ Day. Her humanitarian outreach was recognized by the State of Connecticut General Assembly and Saint Mary/Saint Michael Parish in Meriden, Connecticut.
Her expertise in knitting and crocheting filled her spare time with activities that gave joy to the recipients of her handiwork. An expert at solving puzzles, Sister Helen brought her social and analytical skills to the games of baseball and basketball where she was an unwavering New York Yankees and University of Connecticut Women’s basketball fan.