Written on: April 22, 2020
Sister Helen Martin, GNSH (formerly Sister Anne Joseph), 90, died April 20, 2020 in the 72nd year of her religious life. As a dedicated librarian, Sister served in the Ogdensburg, NY area from 1976 to 1997 working with people of all ages, from elementary school to College and beyond. Sister staffed the Wadhams Seminary College Library in Ogdensburg for 18 years. Sister also served as librarian at Canton Free Library and later staffed the library and media center at Grey Nun Academy in Yardley, PA.
Prior to her ministry as a librarian, Sister Helen was an elementary school teacher for 19 years in New York, Massachusetts, and Georgia. Sister served at Immaculate Conception, Lowell, MA (1951-52) and Christ the King (1952-59) and Immaculate Heart of Mary (1969-70) in Atlanta, GA. In addition, Sister also taught at St. James, Depew NY (1959-67) and St. Mary’s, Potsdam NY (1967-69). Her teaching ministry ranged from grades 1 through 8 with the majority of her time in grades 6, 7 and 8.
Sister Helen held permanent teaching certificates in New York and Georgia, complementing a BA in Social Sciences from D’Youville College, Buffalo, NY (1954), and an MSLS from Villanova University (1972), PA.
Upon retirement to the Motherhouse in 1997, Sister Helen volunteered providing pastoral care services to the residents of D’Youville Manor, an assisted living residence on the Motherhouse property. In 2016 Sister moved to Holy Redeemer Lafayette.
A native of Ogdensburg, Sister was one of five children born to Charles P. and Anna M. (Hoagland) Martin. Her ministry in the Diocese of Ogdensburg (Potsdam, Ogdensburg and Canton) spanned 22 years.
Sister is predeceased by her parents, a brother Charles E. and sisters, Anna White, Pauline (Polly) Ward and Rita Smith. Sister is survived by nieces and nephews, in addition to her religious family.
Due to recent events, a memorial service will be held for Sister Helen Martin at a later date. The Leadership of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart will attend her burial on April 28, at 11 a.m. If you would like to join your prayers to ours, the PRAYERS OF COMMITTAL can be downloaded.
Donations in memory of Sister Helen Martin’s life of prayer and service will be gratefully received. Donations may be made on line here, or by mail to: Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, 14500 Bustleton Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19116-1188. We are grateful for your prayers and support.
Arrangements by Beck-Givnish Funeral Homes, Inc.
4 thoughts on “Sister Helen Martin, GNSH (Anne Joseph)”
I attended St. James in Depew N Y. in 2nd-8th grade. Although I wasn’t fortunate enough to have Sister Anne Joseph for my 6th grade teacher we still became good friends because I used to help clean the convent. One day I heard her say she was going to get a broom so being my mischievous self I hid in the broom closet in the kitchen! What a surprise she got when she opened the door! Sister, myself and Andela the cook had a lot of laughs from that little prank and I will never forget the look on Sister’s face!
I was so disappointed when the G.N.S.H. left Depew but they were a great influence on me in going into the teaching profession. I taught Kdg. and 1st grade for 33 yrs. Many thanks and much appreciation to Sister Mary Agatha (Quinn), Sister Helen Rita (McCarthy), Sister Mary Dorothy, Sister Anne Joseph (Martin), Sister Mary Peter (June Love) who had to leave because of her illness and all the others that I was so fortunate to have known!
I worked with Sister Helen at Wadhams Hall Seminary-College (1976-1980) as a student librarian. She was top notch and knew what to do and how to do it! A lovely lady and very spiritual Nun. God has been so good in giving us this little treasure for so long! I am sure she is in great Peace and praying for us all and the wonderful Grey Nuns and their ministry.
~Father Ray Donohue
I am glad I had a chance to sit and share conversation with Sr. Helen a few months ago. She was a kind, sweet person. I miss our time at Lectio Divina/Centering Prayer. I miss her being at our Associates meetings. I know her soul is free and dancing now, watching over us!
God bless her and all the Grey nuns