A memorial Mass for Sister Helen Flemington, CSJ, was held Jan. 4 at Nazareth Living Center in St. Louis. Sister Helen died Dec. 27 at Nazareth Living Center at age 79.
Sister Helen was born on Sept. 30, 1943, in Kansas City, Missouri, to parents Alexander and Grace (Conrad) Flemington. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1960 and was received into the novitiate in 1961 as Sister James Barbara. She earned a bachelor’s degree in French from Fontbonne College (now University) in St. Louis in 1966 and a master’s in French elementary education from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, in 1973.
In 1965, Sister Helen began her 57 years of ministry work as a primary teacher in St. Louis. She taught at St. Matthew School from 1965-67 and at Immacolata School from 1967-74. For the next seven years, she served as principal at Nativity of Our Lord School in Chicago.
Sister Helen transitioned into pastoral ministry in 1981. She was a pastoral minister and director of religious education at St. Leo the Great Parish in Ava, Missouri, until 1988. She then served at St. Therese Little Flower Parish in Kansas City for 14 years as a pastoral associate (1988-95) and pastoral administrator (1995-2006). During this time, in 2002, she also spent four months on sabbatical at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California.
In 2006, Sister Helen returned to elementary education and was the principal at St. Thomas More School in Kansas City for the next two years.
From 2008-14, she served her CSJ community as a member of the Province Leadership Team. Then, after a year-long sabbatical, Sister Helen went back to St. Therese Little Flower Parish and served as a pastoral minister (2015-18).
From 2018-22, Sister Helen served her CSJ community as mission advisor for the Kansas City Regional Mission Advancement Office and served on the Board of Directors at St. Joseph Medical Center and the Board of Trustees at Avila University.
Sister Helen moved to Nazareth Living Center in 2022. She carried out her ministry of prayer and presence as well as served as the Kansas City Mission Advancement advisor emerita.