Sister of St. Joseph Helene A. Gardner, formerly Sister Saint Luke, 95, died Sept. 22 at St. Joseph Villa in Flourtown. She was in the 76th year of her religious life.
Born in Philadelphia, Sister Helene was the oldest of the three daughters of Carl Gardner and Mary Hollywood Gardner. She attended St. Luke Elementary School in Glenside and John W. Hallahan High School. Sister Helene entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1939 and professed her vows in 1941.
During her 76 years as a Sister of St. Joseph, Sister Helene taught in elementary and secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as well as in New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. She was a director of religious education and also served on the faculty of the religious studies department at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
In addition, Sister Helene served as coordinator of adult education for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Trenton. She became a resident of St Joseph Villa in 2008, where she remained until the time of her death.
With a master’s degree in fine arts, Sister Helene chose to work as a silversmith, which allowed her to focus on eucharistic vessels. After continuing her work in pastoral ministry, she engaged in ecumenical work with the Haverford Township Clergy Association.
Sister Helene’s funeral Mass was celebrated Sept. 25 at St. Joseph Villa.