Aston, PA — Sister John Helene Meskill, OSF, died in Riddle Memorial Hospital on August 12. She was eight-eight years of age and had been a professed member ofthe Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for sixty-eight years. Sister John Helene (Mary Agnes Meskill) was born in County Cork, Ireland. Prior to her entrance into the congregation in 1935, she attended St. Paul Secondary School in Kilfinane. Sister John Helene earned a B.S. in Education from Marylhurst College in Portland, Oregon, and an M.A. in Education from Gonzaga University in Spokane. She ministered primarily in education as teacher and principal on both elementary and secondary levels. She also served in parish ministry.
Sister John Helene ministered for twenty-one years in the Archdio cese of Washington, DC. She taught at Nativity School (1941-1946). From1983-1999 she worked in parish ministry at St. Bernadette Parish in Silver Spring, Maryland, and at Sacred Heart Parish in Bowie, Maryland.
Sister John Helene’s fourteen years of ministry in the Archdiocese of Baltimore included teaching at St. Stephen School in Bradshaw (1939-1940) and St. Paul School in Baltimore (1940-1941). From 1972-1983 she served as assistant principal at the Catholic High School of Baltimore. She lived for one year at St. Joseph Medical Center Convent in Towson (1999-2000).
Sister John Helen served in administration in several school both on the east and west coasts. She was principal of Blessed Sacrament School in Portland, Oregon, from 1954-1957. In Spokane, Washington, she was principal of Blessed Sacrament School (1957-1963) and also served as chairperson of the diocesan vocation program. From 1963-1966 she was principal of the Madeleine School in San Diego and again served as chairperson of the diocesan vocation program. From 1966-1971 she was prefect of discipline at St. Anthony High School in Trenton, New Jersey, where she also was student council moderator. In 1971 she moved to Columbia, Pennsylvania, as principal of Holy Trinity School.
Additional experiences include teaching at St. Ann School in Wilminton, Delaware, from 1946-1947 and at St. Edward School in Corona, California, from 1947-1953.
In 2000 Sister John Helene moved to Assisi House in Aston where she served in prayer ministry until her death.
All services will be held in Assisi House, 600 Red Hill Road, on Friday, August 17. 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 John Helene is survived by her sisters, Sister Geralda Meskill of Portland, Oregon, and Sister Ellen Mary Meskill of Aston, Pennsylvania; her brothers, Paddy Meskill, Jimmy Meskill, and John Meskill; and by her Franciscan family. Donations in her name can be made to Franciscan Ministries Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.