In Memory

Sister Helene Fee, IHM

August 8, 1938 – June 23, 2015

Helene Fee, IHM

Sister Helene Fee, (formerly known as Sister M. Wenceslaus) IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on August 8, 1938, in Brooklyn, NY, and given the name Gail Helene. She was the daughter of the late Bernard Henry and Helene Claire Auspitzer Fee. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1956, made temporary profession of her vows on March 12, 1959, and final profession of her vows on March 12, 1964.

Sister Helene served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Agnes Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1959 to 1964; St. Patrick Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1964 to 1966; St. Mary of the Mount Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1966 to 1970; Notre Dame High School in East Stroudsburg, PA, from 1970 to 1973; Bishop Neumann High School in Williamsport, PA, from 1973 to 1975; Archbishop Neale Elementary School in LaPlate, MD, from 1975 to 1984; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Binghamton, NY, from 1984 to 1986; and St. Paul Elementary School in New Bern, NC, from 1986 to 1988.

Sister also served as principal at Archbishop Neale Elementary School in LaPlata, MD, from 1988 to 2007.

From 2007 until the time of her death, Sister Helene served as a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and a Master of Science in mathematics, both from Marywood College.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Bernard, and a sister, Patricia Hill.

She is survived by a sister, Margot Sutcamp, Jacksonville, FL, and by the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Friday, June 26, at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Thursday, June 25, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Interment will follow Mass on Friday at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA.

Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired IHM Sisters c/o the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.


Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Fall 2015 issue

Connie Sellecca is an actress who was known in the 1980’s for her role in the television series “Hotel.” Sister Helene decided that she wanted her “glorified body to be like Connie Sellecca’s.” Helene’s reasoning was scriptural, but not completely accurate.

“Although we do not know exactly what our new bodies will be like, we know that they will be like Christ’s glorious body.” 1 John 3:2-3

Helene held to that idea for the rest of her life. If she was going to be glorified in Christ, she had a definite plan.

She also had an opinion about St. Therese, the “Little Flower”, which may scandalize some people. Therese is well known as the Saint of the “Little Way”. However, in Helene’s spirituality there was no room for what she considered a wishy-washy road to heaven. It all impressed her as “wimpish” on Therese’s part. In any case it wasn’t Helene’s road to heaven. Helene’s spirituality was personal and private. It didn’t have a name. Her relationship with God was intimate because she suffered, physically, emotionally, and psychologically, especially these last eight years. She endured it and never complained.

Here was a person who only wanted to teach math, not be a principal. She liked to read, especially mystery novels. She loved math. She liked to knit, talk and go to Dover Downs. After her stroke, Helene slowly lost her speech; she could not read nor recognize numbers. The nurses and aides at Our Lady of Peace Residence had no doubt that Helene knew who she was and had definite ideas about what was going on around her. One night before I left her room, she told me she was afraid. I asked if she was scared of dying; she said, “Yes”. I told her that when the time came, she wouldn’t be. We were together when she was freed.

Faculty, students and parents recalled her “perfect blend of no-nonsense diligence and contagious dry wit.” And she will be remembered for her faith, compassion and caring. She was an excellent Servant of God.

We were friends for forty years. I will love and miss her forever until we meet again in God.

by Sister Jane Mary Duke, IHM

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