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Sister Mary Helena SanFilippo, RSM
March 21st, 2016

Mercy Sister Mary Helena Sanfilippo died March 3 just 10 days before her 87th birthday. Sister Helena grew up in Los Angeles entering the Sisters in Mercy after high school. She professed vows in 1950. Sister Helena, who earned a doctorate in American history from the University of Notre Dame in 1972, taught at San Francisco’s St. Peter’s, Holy Name and St. Gabriel schools.


Sister Helena served for almost a decade in Appalachia’s Richlands, Virginia.


She opened the Tri-County Health Clinic there in 1992 and in 1995 was named a Citizen of the Year and given a Governor’s Award for Volunteering Excellence. The clinic continues to serve the community today.


“During her very productive life, Sister Mary Helena had a warm and caring manner toward all those to whom she ministered and a generous, joyful presence to her sisters in community,” the Mercy Sisters said in a statement.


A funeral Mass was celebrated March 9 at Mercy Chapel in Burlingame with interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma.


Memorial gifts may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 2300 Adeline Drive, Burlingame 94010.


From March 24, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.






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