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Dominican Sister of Peace Helen McCarthy

Sr. Helen McCarthy

Dominican Sister of Peace Helen (Kevin Marie) McCarthy, (84), died on August 31, 2019, at the Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY.  The only girl of Helen McGarr and John’s six children, Sister Helen was born in 1935 in Woburn, MA. She worked in the business world for four years before she entered religious life in 1957.

She made First Profession in 1959 and celebrated her 60-year Jubilee in 2019. She often said that she didn’t know how she ever was called to religious life.  But, as she said, “God called me and I said take me wherever you want.”

Sr. Helen received her Bachelor of Science degree in Social Studies, Education and English from Siena College in 1970. She spent the early years of her ministry in education, passing her love of learning to children in Illinois, West Virginia and Kentucky for 20 years. She worked as an Administrative Assistant while she studied to earn her Master of Arts in Religious Studies from Spaulding College, and moved to a new ministry as a Pastoral Assistant.

She served at both Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Brigid Parish in Louisville before leaving pastoral work to serve her community as the Southern Regional Coordinator for Louisville and Memphis. Sr. Helen returned to St. Brigid Parish in 1996 and served as Parish minister for seven years before moving to Watertown, MA, as House Coordinator for Rosary Manor.

Sr. Helen’s final ministry of prayer and presence was at Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY. All who visited her in her final days were touched by the peace that she felt and shared with them.

In her preaching at the funeral. Sr. Joye Gros spoke of the great love that she held for her community, her friends, and her family. “Being the youngest and only girl, she admitted that she was spoiled.” Sr. Joye said. “Perhaps, all the love she experienced in her family spilled over in her various ministries and her community life.  We became the beneficiaries.”

Sister Helen is survived by her sister-in-law, Helen McCarthy, and several nieces and nephews.

A Vigil of remembrance was held at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel on September 5. The Mass of Christian Burial was held the following day, September 6, also at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel. Sister Helen was interred at St. Catharine Cemetery

Memorial gifts in Sr. Helen McCarthy’s name may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr, Columbus, OH 43219, or you may give online at

To download a printable copy of this memorial, please click here.

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