Aston, PA—Sister Elena Goulding, OSF, 81, died in Assisi House on April 7. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 63 years. Sister Elena (Bridget Philomena Goulding) was born in Knockanure, County Kerry, Ireland, where she was a member of St. Mary Parish, Moyvane. She entered the congregation in 1949 and professed her first vows in 1952. Sister Elena earned a B.A. in English from Neumann University in Aston, Pennsylvania, and an M.A. in Education from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. She ministered primarily in education, prison ministry, and eldercare.
Sister Elena ministered for 26 years in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. She taught at Immaculate Conception School, Towson; St. Stephen School, Bradshaw; Fr. Charles Hall Middle School, and St. Frances Academy. During her later years in the archdiocese, she served as a prison chaplain at the Women’s Detention Center.
Sister Elena also ministered for 12 years in the Diocese of Wilmington. She taught at St. Anthony School and at St. Paul School. During her last year at St. Paul’s, she also served as principal.
Additional ministry in education included teaching at Nativity School in Washington, DC, and at St. Paul the Apostle School in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
In 1993 Sister Elena returned to her native Ireland where she ministered for 14 years. She served as Head of Home at Ailt An Oir in Dun Laoghaire and was a tutor at Griffeen Valley Educate Together.
In 2008 Sister Elena moved to Assisi House in Aston, Pennsylvania, where she served in prayer ministry until her death.
All services will be held in Assisi House, 600 Red Hill Road, Aston, Pennsylvania, 19014 on Tuesday, April 14. A Christian Wake Service will be held at 9:30 A.M. followed by viewing. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 A.M. Burial will be in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Aston. Sister Elena is survived by two sisters, Mary Clancy and Patricia Danaher; two brothers, Christy Goulding and Michael Goulding; nieces and nephews, and by her Franciscan family. Donations in her name can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.