Sr Helen Monroe, SNDdeN

Obituary of Sr Helen Julie Monroe, SNDdeN

Sr. Helen Julie Monroe, SNDdeN, went peacefully home to her Good God on Monday January 25, 2021 at Notre Dame Long Term Care Center in Worcester, MA. She was born Virginia M. Monroe in Beverly, MA in 1926 to parents Carleton A. and Helen M. (Marley) Monroe, soon joined by her only brother, the late Robert J. Monroe. After graduating from St. Mary’s H.S. in Beverly, then working at Sylvania in Peabody and the United Shoe in Beverly during the war, Virginia entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1949 at Waltham, MA, taking her first vows in 1951 and final vows in 1956. She earned a degree in History and Education from Emmanuel College in 1961. Sr. Helen Julie spent more than twenty happy years teaching elementary school students in Hudson, East Hartford, Peabody, Woburn, Lowell, Danvers, and Marblehead, and “loved every minute of it.” Then she served as the longtime School Secretary at St. Gregory’s in Dorchester, her “Dream Job.” In her later years she worked for the Council on Aging in Beverly, bringing hot meals and Holy Communion to the elderly until well into her eighties. Sr. Helen, or “Gussie” as she was known to all, had a quick wit, a raucous laugh, a great gusto for life, and a gift for making friends wherever she went. She adored her brother Bobby, whose sense of humor she shared. They loved the Red Sox, Patriots, Notre Dame football, and sitting by the water at Lynch Park or Dane Street Beach. Her family remembers her enormous strength of spirit, a passion for justice, and a great sense of humor; you felt you could still hear her laughter long after she left the room. She loved a good game of Scrabble and was always tough to beat. She was a mentor to her great nieces and nephews, taking pride in their lives and accomplishments. In 2012, Sr. Helen retired to the St. Julie Billiart Residential Care Center at Ipswich, MA, where she lived with her Sisters in community until moving to N.D. Long Term Care in Worcester in October of 2020. Sr. Helen Julie was proud and grateful to have spent her life as a Sister of Notre Dame. Despite hardships and struggles, her deep faith in God and the Blessed Mother never wavered. A lifelong optimist, she always maintained “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” And dance she did! Sr. Helen Julie Monroe is survived by her nieces, great nieces and great nephews; her many dear friends and former students; and all her Sisters in the Notre Dame Community. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated privately at Our Lady Queen Chapel in Ipswich, MA on Saturday followed by burial in the Notre Dame cemetery at Ipswich. Memorial donations to the Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, 30 Jeffreys Neck Road, Ipswich, MA 01938.
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