In Memoriam: Sister Miriam Helen Callahan, SC

Throughout her life she possessed a great passion for sowing the seeds of God’s love through education and example.

Sr-Helen-CallahanSister Miriam Helen Callahan (Margaret Mary) was born on January 10, 1917 in Manhattan, one of two daughters and one son of Patrick and Delia Cunneely Callahan. Margaret Mary attended Saint Monica’s School and Cathedral High School. She entered the Sisters of Charity of New York on September 8, 1936. Sister Miriam Helen earned a BA in Latin from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and an MA in Administration from New York University.

Sister Helen was an educator par excellence. Her first mission was to Holy Name School for two years and then she spent the next fifteen years on Staten Island teaching in both Saint Peter’s Elementary and High Schools. In 1955 Sister Helen began teaching Latin at the Academy of Mount Saint Vincent in Tuxedo Park. She had a great impact on the girls in both of these high schools, and many former students kept in contact with her. Those from Tuxedo Park were thrilled to see her in attendance at Academy reunions each year.

She became principal of Saint Joseph Academy in Manhattan from 1961 through 1967, and was then missioned to Incarnation School where she served from 1967 until 1970. Sister Helen’s longest mission experience was at Saint Ignatius Loyola School in Manhattan. Here she served as teacher and principal from 1970 until 1984. When she retired from full-time service in the school, Sister Helen taught Computer Science and Latin, and also helped out with the day-to-day administrative activities. Saint Ignatius School honored Sister Miriam Helen for her many years of service and dedication at a Mass in Saint Ignatius Loyola Church on Sunday, January 5, 2002. The Mass was attended by parishioners as well as many former students and staff members. Previously, in 2000, an education fund in her honor was inaugurated at the Saint Ignatius annual Opera Gala.

Sister Helen’s pleasant demeanor, kindness and understanding caused her to be beloved by many students. In her retirement years at the Convent of Mary the Queen, Sister Helen continued to be involved in services and activities with many people. Throughout her life she possessed a great passion for sowing the seeds of God’s love through education and example. She never missed an opportunity to teach others or to learn from them.

We rejoice with Sister Helen now as she is welcomed into her eternal home by her loving God whom she served so long and so a Sister of Charity. Rest in peace, Sister Helen.



July 22, 2015


Mount Saint Vincent Convent
6301 Riverdale Ave.
Bronx, NY 10471
Friday, July 24 , 2015, 2–6:30 pm
4:30 pm Prayer Service

Mass of the Resurrection
Mount Saint Vincent Convent
Saturday, July 25, 2015, 10 am

Saint Joseph Cemetery
Yonkers, NY


  • Holy Name
    1938–1940, Teacher
  • St. Joseph Academy
    1961–1967, Administrator
  • Incarnation
    1967–1970, Administrator
  • St. Ignatius Loyola
    1970–1973, Teacher, Gr. 5
    1973–1984, Administrator
    1984–2002, Teacher; Computer Science, Latin
    2002–2003, Volunteer

  • St. Peter
    1940–1955, Teacher

  • Academy of Mt. St. Vincent
    1955–1961, Teacher


10 Responses to In Memoriam: Sister Miriam Helen Callahan, SC

  1. teri ellen finley July 23, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    Sister Helen was a wonderful educator.She was to this day one of my favorite teachers. Rest in peace Sister.

    • Jeanne Ann Geis July 23, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

      Fond thoughts of Sr. Helen have been etched in my memory forever. Sleep well, LOVE.

  2. Joan Caruso July 23, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

    Rest in peace sweet Sister

  3. Sarah Yener July 23, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

    What a wonderful life Sister Helen led. May be all be so blessed with her commitment and love.

  4. Mary E. Wescott July 24, 2015 at 9:10 am #

    One of my favorite quotes from you Sister was, ‘Well, Look at herself!’ I am looking and thinking of you now Sister and I say: Well, look at herself, ‘She is in the Hands of the Lord. Thanks for the memories and I know you are at peace with the Lord. Until we meet again, God bless and thank you for being a part of my life.

  5. Jerry Menkhaus, SJ July 26, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    The phrase that I most associate with Sr. Helen; one that I heard her say many, many times is, “You are so good to . . . ” Gratitude was one of her primary virtues. While at the Convent of Mary the Queen and later at St. Patrick’s, she exercised the ministry of hospitality, welcoming everyone who came into her life, and expressing gratitude for every act of service done to her. She used to remind me often, “We don’t thank God enough.” She was a visible manifestation of Our Father’s love for each of us.

  6. Justin O'Brien August 1, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

    Sister Helen lives fondly in my memory. She had such an even keel is her stewardship of St. Ignatius Elementary. While I was “sent to the principal’s office” on a number of occasions I never felt very anxious because she came across as such a reasonable, understanding person. The commitment of these women to education is an inspiration to all of us, and is deserving of wider recognition in our society. Thank you , bless you, and may you rest in peace dear Sister Helen.

  7. Perry Figueroa August 1, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    Sister Helen was my principal during my time at St. Ignatius. I am a better man for having known her and having her in my life through those very important formative years. I thank God for my time at St. Ignatius and for all the educators, friends and clergy who all touched me I some way or another. May God grant Sister Helen eternal rest.

  8. Eleanor Mirakaj Evangelista August 5, 2015 at 11:05 pm #

    She was a beautiful soul that will never be forgotten. Rest in peace Sister Helen.

  9. Enrico Gonzalez August 6, 2015 at 6:41 pm #

    She was a remarkable human being and I am a better person today for having had her as my principal at Saint Ignatius Loyola for eight years. Had the opportunity to attend her celebration mass in 2002, a good 20 plus year’s after I graduated and She was just like the way I remembered her.

Leave a Reply