Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

Sister Mary Helen Kane

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Sister Mary Helen Kane, CSJ who passed away on Nov. 20 at Nazareth Living Center in St. Louis, Missouri. She was 87 years of age.
Sister Mary Helen was born on October 7, 1928,  in Rantoul, Illinois, to parents James F. and Mabel (Fiedler) Kane. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on February 11, 1948, was received as Sister Anne Fanchea and made her final profession on August 15,1953.
She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Fontbonne College in St. Louis in 1957 and a master's from Loyola University, Chicago, first in education counseling and guidance in 1962, and secondly in religious education in 1971.
Sister Mary Helen  served 67 years in the ministry of education in a variety of roles.
She taught in the 1950s and early 60s at Our Lady of Lourdes Grade School, University City (1950-51), St. Mary Grade School in Bridgeton (1951-52), St. Matthew Grade School in St. Louis (1952-56), Nativity of Our Lord Grade School, Chicago, Illinois (1956-59 and 1960-61), St. Bede the Venerable Grade School, Chicago (1959-60) and at St. Roch Grade School, Indianapolis, Indiana (1961-62).
For the next 12 years, Sister Mary Helen served in diocesan work. She was the education consultant/supervisor for the Office of Chancery in the Kansas City/St. Joseph-Missouri Diocese from 1962-70. She then served as the religious education director for the Office of Religious Education in the Jefferson City-Missouri Diocese until 1974.
After serving in education in Israel, she was a student at Notre Dame University in South Bend (1974-75). Her last diocesan assignment was from 1975-77 in the Dioceses of Indianapolis where she served in the Office of Catholic Education as the Religious Education Coordinator.
In the late 1970s, she was a parish minister to the sick and elderly at St. Bede the Venerable Parish in Chicago and pastoral associate at the old St. Joseph Hospital in Kirkwood.
Moving to Houston, Texas in 1980, she spent 10 years as the religious education director at St. John Vianney Parish.
In the 1990s, after a sabbatical, she returned to religious education ministry, serving as the director of RCIA at St. Joseph Parish in Bonne Terre, Missouri; the religious education director for St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Oakville; and at St. Meinrad School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Indiana.
Throughout the next decade, Sister Mary Helen was was a spiritual companion through retreats, recollection and praying with scripture. She also volunteered, taught and was a pastoral associate at Sts. Teresa and Bridget Parish.  She also volunteered and taught at Nazareth Living Center.
Since 2001, Sister Mary Helen served in the ministry of prayer and presence at Nazareth Living Center.