Aston, PA—Sister Helen Martin, OSF, (formerly Sister Mary Ethel) 85, died in Assisi House on June 9. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 65 years. Sister Helen was born in Wilmington, Delaware, where she was a member of St. Thomas Parish and a graduate of St. Peter High School in New Castle. She entered the congregation in 1943 and professed her first vows in 1946. Sister Helen graduated from St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland, and later earned a BSN from Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, and an MSN from St. John University in Brooklyn, New York. She ministered in healthcare as a nurse, nursing instructor, and director of nursing.
Sister Helen ministered for 25 years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. She served at St. Agnes Hospital (1948-1951); Assisi House, Aston (1989-1994); Our Lady of Angels Convent, Aston (1994-2007). During part of her time at Our Lady of Angels where she looked after the nursing needs of the sisters, she also served as a part-time caregiver for a family member. In 2007 she moved to Assisi House where she served in prayer ministry until her death.
Sister Helen ministered for 24 years in the Diocese of Allentown. She worked at St. Joseph Hospital in Reading, Pennsylvania from 1951-1959 and 1960-1961. She returned there in 1974 and remained as director of the school of nursing until 1989.
Sister Helen’s 12 years of ministry in the Archdiocese of Baltimore included her training at St. Joseph Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland (1945-1948). She returned there in 1961 and served as director of the school of nursing until 1970.
Sister Helen also served for four years in the Diocese of Harrisburg. She ministered as director of the school of nursing at St. Joseph Hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (1970-1974).
All services will be held in Assisi House, 600 Red Hill Road, on Tuesday, June 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 Helen is survived by her many 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.