“Your grace is sufficient for me.”
Sr Helen died peacefully at Nazareth House on 25 July 2023.
Sr Helen was in the 61st year of her Religious Profession.
Sr Helen was born in Christchurch she was one of 7 children, 3 of her siblings have predeceased her. After leaving school Helen worked as a personal secretary. In her early twenties her social life was good but she began to think ‘there must be more to life than this’ After seeking advice she connected with the Little Company of Mary Sisters at Calvary here in Christchurch and eventually decided to enter the LCM, she had always wanted to be a nurse. Helen travelled to Australia and entered the LCM Novitiate at Lewisham in Sydney. She wrote: From the beginning we were steeped in the spirit and charism of the LCM interspersed with Hospital work. The life and mission of Mary Potter and the LCM became very much part of my life.
When Sr Helen received the habit she was given the name Sr Joseph, she later changed to Helen her baptismal name. She was finally professed in Christchurch in 1967 and chose as her motto “Your grace is sufficient for me.”
Sr Helen was very industrious and methodical she worked tirelessly while battling a prolonged illness. She was well qualified as a Registered Nurse, Midwife and Registered Psychiatric Nurse; she also completed a Human Relations Course at the Richmond Fellowship College in London. Sr Helen held many responsible positions in the LCM as Provincial, Regional Councillor and local Superior. She worked at Calvary Hospitals in Wellington and in Christchurch where she was in charge of Calvary Psychiatric Clinic. She nursed at Nurse Maude Hospital prior to becoming General Manager at the Mary Potter office a position she held until her retirement from active ministry.
Throughout her Religious life Sr Helen advocated tirelessly for the less fortunate, the elderly and those with mental health problems. Her great joy and relaxation was tending her garden. When still living independently and with reduced mobility she spent many hours in quiet prayer continuing our LCM ministry of prayer for the suffering and dying of the world.
Sr Helen was grateful for the continued love and support of her family and loved their visits.
She was admitted to Nazareth House a year ago: we extend our heartfelt gratitude to Shona Lowson for her care and to the Nazareth Sisters and staff for their daily devoted care. We prayerfully remember and pray in thanksgiving for Sr Helen, may she now rest in peace.