A memorial Mass for Sister Michael Helene Purfield, CSJ, was celebrated March 1 at Nazareth Living Center in south St. Louis County.
Sister Michael Helene died Feb. 25 at Nazareth Living Center at the age of 93. As a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 73 years, she primarily worked in nursing.
A native of Colorado Springs, Colo., Sister Michael Helene entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1944, making final profession in 1949.
She began in education, teaching at St. Patrick School in University City in 1946. Because she had some training as a nurse, she went to Avila College in Kansas City to continue her studies, also working at St. Joseph Hospital (1947-51). She returned to St. Louis University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing education in 1958. In 1966, she received certification as a registered nurse anesthetist through Charity Hospital in New Orleans.
Sister Michael Helene served at several health care facilities as a nursing supervisor, including St. Joseph Community Hospital in Hancock, Mich. (1951-54), St. Joseph Hospital in Kirkwood (1954-57, 1958-64), St. Joseph Hospital in Kansas City (1966-69) and Anesthesia Associates of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio (1969-82).
In 1982, she returned to her hometown of Colorado Springs to care for her parents. She then served as a pastoral minister and coordinator of homebound ministry at her home parish of St. Paul in Colorado Springs. She retired in 2013, doing volunteer ministry. In 2014, Sister Michael Helene came to Nazareth Living Center in St. Louis.
She is survived by two brothers, Father James Purfield and William Purfield, both of Denver. Burial was in Resurrection Cemetery.