Sister Helen Sullivan, CSJ 
(Sister Xavier Marie)

We Remember her
In the blowing of the wind and
in the chill of winter

November 7, 1939 – March 12, 2024

In the 63rd year of her Religious Life. 
Entered:  September 29, 1961

Because Helen Sullivan, Sister Xavier Marie, walked humbly with her God, she also loved tenderly and acted justly. Her desire from a young age was to be pleasing to God, and the way she believed that she would be, was to follow her call to be a Sister of St. Joseph and to live her life in a way that service to those most in need was the focus. She lived simply, most likely due to her commitment to social justice. To have only what was necessary; that others might have what they need as well. Hers was a faith that does justice.

Raised in West Roxbury with her parents, Helen and Daniel, and her brother Daniel, Helen went to Public School and graduated from Bridgewater State with a degree in Physical Education before she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph. It was during her time in college that Helen began to feel that God was calling her to religious life.

She brought to our community and to her varied ministries a demeanor that was calm, sensible, balanced, and fun. Helen was rooted in the Gospel call to justice, and this led her to relate to and work with those who were newly arrived, many having sought refuge from trauma, as she ministered in the Literacy Connection, Catholic Charities, Bromley Heath, WAITT House as tutor, adult educator and advocate. Her last ministry was as our Community’s Social Justice Promoter.

Helen was proud of her early years of instruction as a P.E. teacher, guiding students on the court in her full habit. In later years, she would serve as Assistant Dean at Regis College and on the Leadership team, supporting, collaborating, and sharing her wisdom, humor, and calm demeanor. Her colleagues and students loved and respected her.

Helen lived her life graciously and gratefully. In a world too often frenetic, chaotic, and turbulent, her positive spirit was welcomed, needed, and contagious.

She had a love for her family and deep long-lasting friendships. Her desire to please God has been fulfilled in full measure and we believe, because we have been promised, that she lives in the fullness of God forevermore.

Given by Betsy Conway, CSJ | March 19, 2024