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In her eulogy for Sister Helen McAllister, Sister Judy Friedel, Chapter Prioress of the Holy Rosary Mission Chapter, described Sister Helen this way:
Helen was a people-person, a devoted family member, a dedicated teacher and co-worker, a committed family member, friend to many. The four pillars of Dominican life were foundational to her growth as a person. Her life was lived fully, remaining close to family and friends, with a very tender heart for God’s little ones. She loved people, parties, travel.
Helen Diana McAllister was born on March 11, 1939, at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, Illinois. She was the first child born to Thomas McAllister, who worked as a clerk for the Chicago Stock Exchange, and his wife, Margaret Helen (Paschke).
The family lived in Little Flower Parish, on Chicago’s South Side, until 1941, not long after another daughter, Judy, was born. They then moved to an apartment on South Yale, across the street from St. Carthage Church and School. In time, three more children – Rosemary, Dennis, and Susan – entered the family.
Helen attended Yale Public School for kindergarten and half of first grade and then was enrolled at St. Carthage School. It was here that she first met the Adrian Dominican Sisters, initially in the person of Sister Catherine Siena Fisher, her first-grade teacher. “She was very strict; in fact, I think I was a bit afraid of her,” Sister Helen said in her life story as she recounted the time she got in trouble for talking with her best friend and did not tell her mother about it … only to have both her parents find out from Sister Catherine Siena that same day at an open house.
Read more about Sister Helen (PDF)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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