Sister Elena Goulding, O.S.F., 81, died April 7 in Assisi House, Aston. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 63 years.
Sister Elena (Bridget Philomena Goulding) was born in Knockanure, County Kerry, Ireland. She entered the congregation in 1949 and professed her first vows in 1952. Sister Elena earned a B.A. in English from Neumann University in Aston, and an M.A. in education from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. She ministered primarily in education, prison ministry and elder care.
Sister Elena ministered for 26 years in the Archdiocese of Baltimore as a teacher and a prison chaplain at the Women’s Detention Center.
She also ministered in the Diocese of Wilmington and in Washington, D.C., and South Carolina.
In 1993 Sister Elena returned to her native Ireland where she ministered for 14 years. In 2008 Sister Elena moved to Assisi House, where she served in prayer ministry until her death.
The funeral Mass was April 14 in Assisi House. Burial was in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Aston.
Sister Elena is survived by two sisters, Mary Clancy and Patricia Danaher; two brothers, Christy Goulding and Michael Goulding; nieces and nephews, and by her Franciscan family. Donations in her name can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Deacon Richard Stoughton dies at 72, serving his parish
NEXT: Franciscan sister dies; ministered for 6 decades in health care
Share this story