Aston, PA—Sister Helena Joseph Balbach, OSF, 95, died in Assisi House on July 29. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 73 years. Sister Helena Joseph (Elizabeth Margaret Balbach) was born in Wilmington, Delaware, where she was a member of St. Thomas Parish and a graduate of Wilmington High School. She entered the congregation in 1942 and professed her first vows in 1944. Her sister, Sister Trinita Balbach (now deceased) was also a member of the congregation. Sister Helena earned a B.S. in Education from Mount St. Mary University in Emmitsburg and an M.A. in Education Administration from the University of Delaware. She ministered primarily in elementary education both as teacher and principal.
Sister Helena Joseph ministered for 51 years in her native Wilmington. She served as both teacher and principal at Holy Angels School in Newark and at Corpus Christi School in Elsmere. She was also principal of St. Peter School in New Castle. In later years she served as a parish visitor at St. Peter Parish and as a volunteer at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, both in New Castle.
During her 17 years of ministry in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Sister Helena Joseph taught at St. Elizabeth School, St. Vincent School, Sts. Philip and James School, St. Katharine School—all in Baltimore—and at St Clement School in Rosedale.
Sister Helena Joseph also ministered in the Archdiocese of Washington where she taught at St. Bernadette School in Silver Spring and served as a library aide at Nazareth Center in Washington.
Additional ministry experience included teaching at St. Anthony School in Trenton, New Jersey.
All services will be held in Assisi House, 600 Red Hill Road, Aston, Pennsylvania, 19014 on Wednesday, August 2. 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 Helena Joseph is survived by her sister, Frances Balbach; by her 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.