In Memory

Sister M. Helene Coyle, IHM

August 4, 1923 – March 2, 2006

Helene Coyle, IHM

Sister M. Helene Coyle, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on March 2, 2006 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on August 4, 1923 in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, and given the name Helene Joanne. She was the daughter of the late John and Helena McDevitt Coyle. She entered the IHM Congregation on February 2, 1942, made temporary profession of her vows on August 2, 1944, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1947.

Sister Helene served as a teacher at St. Paul Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1944 to 195, and St. Ephrem Elementary School in Brooklyn, NY, from 1952 to 1959.

She was principal at St. Cecilia Elementary School in Exeter, PA, from 1960 to 1963; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Binghamton, NY; St. Raymond School in East Rockaway, NY; Most Holy Rosary School in Syracuse, NY; and schools in located in Washington, NC, and Bethesda, MD.

Sister Helene also served as a southern sector superior (member of the leadership team) of the IHM Congregation in Scranton, PA, from 1978 to 1986. At St. Joseph’s Center in Scranton, PA, she served as an office manager for training and rehabilitation of the adult day care program, from 1990 to 2001, and volunteer from 2001 to 2004.

From 2004 until the time of her death, Sister Helene was a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence, both in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Marywood College, and a Master of Arts degree in education from Villanova University.

She was preceded in death by two sisters, Lucille and Mary.

She is survived by cousins, including, Sister Lillian Marie Farrell, IHM, of Scranton, PA, and Peggy Coyle of Binghamton, NY.

The funeral will be Tuesday, March 7 at 10:30 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at the IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton, followed by interment at St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow. Friends may call at the IHM Center on Monday, March 6, between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

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 2006 issue

I begin my loving recollection of Sr. Helene Coyle at St. Ephrem’s Convent in Brooklyn in 1952. I was dusting in the parlor when Helene came along and offered to help. Thus began a life-long friendship.

In the many communications I have received from Sisters and lay people, they pointed out her qualities: her gracious presence, her generous spirit, her unique laugh, her love of people, her genuine goodness, her love of the Congregation.

Many Sisters have told me of Helene’s great kindness and help to them during her years as a sector superior. She reached out to each Sister who called on her. Nothing was too much for her to do in her efforts to respond to a Sister’s need. That kindness and willing help also marked her years in her service in the Adult Day Care Program at St. Joseph’s Center. She was devoted to the Center, but graciously and without complaint accepted her change to the Marian Convent as her health began to fail.

Helene’s final words to me in her dying hours are etched in my heart: “I am going to God. I love you … I am grateful … .”

Enjoy the sweets of Heaven, my faithful friend!

by Sr. Jean Toolan

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