Sister Mary Helen Oswald RSM

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Oswald, Sister Mary Helen RSM ALBANY Sister Mary Helen Oswald RSM (Sister Mary Matthias) died Saturday, May 12, 2012, in St. Peter's Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Albany. She had been a Sister of Mercy for 73 years. Born in Brooklyn, she was the daughter of the late Albert and Eva Rascovar Oswald. Sister Mary Helen earned her degree from the College of Saint Rose. She ministered as an elementary school teacher at St. John's, Rensselaer; St. Agnes, Cohoes; St. John the Baptist, Schenectady; St. Paul's, Troy; St. Mary's, Oneonta; St. Mary's, Gloversville; Sacred Heart, Watervliet; St. Mary's, Waterford; St. Mary's, Ballston Spa; St. Patrick's, Johnston; and Watervliet Elementary School. She also served as a religious education teacher in Sacred Heart Parish, Sidney, and St. James Parish in North Creek. Sister Mary Helen enjoyed teaching children in the primary grades. In the early days of her teaching career, it was not uncommon for a class to number 50 students. Despite the class size, she kept her students engaged in creative projects like making papier-mache dragons and wire dinosaurs to illustrate lessons. When she retired after more than 41 years as a teacher, Sister Mary Helen embarked on other ministries. She transported patients in St. Peter's Hospital and visited sick and elderly persons, both in their homes and in the hospital. Sister also served as a housekeeper at the Chancery. One of Sister Mary's favorite retirement ministries was extending hospitality to families in the surgical waiting area of St. Peter's Hospital. Sister was a welcome Mercy presence as she offered reassuring words, along with refreshments from her snack cart, to persons anxiously awaiting news about their loved ones in surgery. In addition to her parents, Sister Mary Helen was predeceased by her sisters, Elizabeth and Joan. She is survived by dear friends and by her religious community, the Sisters of Mercy. Viewing hours will be from 4:008:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, in the Chapel of the Convent of Mercy, 634 New Scotland Avenue, Albany. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Prayer Service of Remembrance in the Chapel at 7:00 p.m. The Liturgy of Christian Death and Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 17, at the Convent of Mercy. Interment will follow in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, East Greenbush. The Sisters of Mercy are grateful to the staffs of McAuley Residence and St. Peter's Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for the great tenderness with which they cared for our Sister. Contributions may be made in Sister Mary Helen's name to the Sisters of Mercy, 310 South Manning Boulevard, Albany, New York 12208. Condolence page at www.wjlyonsfuneralhome.com
Published in Albany Times Union from May 15 to May 16, 2012
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