Dominican Sister of Peace Helen (Michael Ann) O’Sullivan, OP, (81), went home to God on September 30, 2022, at Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY.
Sr. Helen was a native of Brooklyn, NY, born to Anna Elizabeth Melvin and Robert O’Sullivan on July 16, 1941. She attended St. Catharine College, where she heard God’s call to religious life and entered the Congregation in 1960. She took her final vows in 1967 and celebrated her 60th Jubilee in 2022. Sr. Helen earned her Bachelor of Science in Education and Social Science from Siena College and both her master’s in education in Personalized Learning and her Master of Arts in Organizational Development from Loyola University. She also earned a certificate in Spiritual Leadership from the Jesuit School of Theology in Chicago. She served as an elementary school teacher and principal in Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, and West Virginia.
After a sabbatical at the Jesuit School of Theology in Boston, Sr. Helen served as a Case Manager for the Homeless and Program Supervisor at the Pine Street Inn in Boston and, later, as the Administrator of the Paul Sullivan Homeless Shelter. She loved this ministry because, as she wrote in her annals, “Advocating for the homeless and helping them to see the goodness in themselves has been one of the most rewarding things for me since becoming a Sister.”
Sr. Helen served her Congregation as Mission Group Coordinator at Saint Catharine Motherhouse, also extending gracious hospitality to other Mission Groups when they held their meetings at Saint Catharine. After this time, she returned to her work with the homeless in Boston. She came home to St. Catharine for her final ministries of prayer and service in 2017.
Sr. Helen loved the water and spent many happy hours sailing with friends and family. In her reflection, Sr. Rosemary Rule compared her life to the Book of Mark. “She believed with all her heart, even when it was hard to do, that Jesus was in the boat with her and would calm the trouble. She might have to wake Him up, but He was with her and would take care of things. Prayer and her Bible reassured her that her beliefs were solid.”
A visitation was held on October 6 and the Funeral Mass was held on October 7, both at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel. Burial was in the St. Catharine Motherhouse cemetery.
To download a printable copy of this memorial, click here.
Memorial gifts in Sr. Helen O’Sullivan’s memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr. Columbus, OH 43219 or oppeace.org.