Sister Helen Carey, OSB, dies at 91; funeral will be July 6 at St. Mary Monastery

Sister Helen Carey, OSB

ROCK ISLAND — A Mass of Christian Burial is planned for Thursday, July 6, in the Chapel of St. Mary Monastery here for Sister Helen Carey, OSB. The liturgy will begin at 10 a.m. and be livestreamed through the Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery Facebook page.

Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Rock Island.

Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 5, at the monastery, with a Christian wake service at 7 p.m.

Sister Helen died on June 21, 2023, at St. Mary Monastery. She was 91.

Born in Chicago on Aug. 18, 1931, Helen (Mary Ann) Carey was the daughter of John and Helen (Marmion) Carey. She entered the Benedictine community on Dec. 8, 1952, and made her profession as a Sister of St. Benedict on Aug. 23, 1957.

She received her bachelor’s degree from St. Scholastica College in Duluth, Minnesota; her master’s degree from Saint Louis University in St. Louis; and her doctorate in philosophy from Fordham University in New York.

Sister Helen taught elementary school in Chicago and Wenona, high school at St. Mary’s Academy in Nauvoo and Cathedral High School in St. Cloud, Minnesota; and was a college instructor and professor at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles; Fordham University; Centre College in Danville, Kentucky; and Illinois Wesleyan University and Lincoln College in Bloomington. She also served as chaplain at OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington.

She had been involved in community ministries at St. Mary Monastery since 2009.

Preceded in death by her parents and her brothers, John Carey and Robert Carey, Sister Helen is survived by her sister, Patricia (Joseph) Morris and half-sister, Colleen (Richard) Barrett; a sister-in-law, Zelma Carey; and her Benedictine Sisters.

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