Cover photo for Sr. Helen Travis, CSJ's Obituary
Sr. Helen Travis, CSJ Profile Photo
1934 Sr. Helen 2024

Sr. Helen Travis, CSJ

May 30, 1934 — April 18, 2024

Kalamazoo

The Sisters of St. Joseph request your prayers for

                       SISTER HELEN TRAVIS, CSJ


Who entered into eternal life on April 18, 2024 


SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE - Tuesday, April 23, 2024, 10:00 AM


MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL - Tuesday, April 23, 2024, 10:30 AM

   Services in Holy Family Chapel, 2929 Nazareth Rd., Kalamazoo, MI


BURIAL at Gate of Heaven Cemetery immediately following.


    ZOOM   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82327225338?pwd=OG4rYVF5ZnREQ0t0K0lvMnBxRkZZQT09


                          Meeting ID: 823 2722 5338

                          Passcode: 366263


Helen Mary Travis was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin on May 30, 1934, the daughter of Chester and Mary (McAleavey) Travis. She was the 4th of 5 children. Helen was a member of St. Matthew’s in South Bend, IN, at the time of her entrance into the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Tipton, IN, on September 7, 1950.  She received the name Sister Mary Leon at her reception on July 2, 1951.  She pronounced first vows on August 15, 1953, and final vows on August 15, 1959.


When Helen was in second grade, her family moved from Wisconsin to South Bend, Indiana, because of her dad’s work. Helen attended St. Matthew School in South Bend, which was staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph from Tipton. Those sisters had such a positive influence on Helen that she decided as a high school freshman to join the Community’s first aspirant class. Due to her age, she was asked to extend the aspirancy for another year. In 1950 at the age of 16, Helen entered the Tipton Community.


Sister Helen received her BS degree in elementary education in 1970 from St. Francis College, Fort Wayne IN, and her Master’s Degree from Indiana University in 1972.  She began her ministry of teaching in 1954 at St. Patrick’s in Kokomo, IN, and taught there for 7 years.  She also taught at St. Joan of Arc and St. Joan’s in Kokomo.  From 1980-1982, Sister Helen taught math and early childhood reading at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, IN.  In Tipton, IN she taught at St. John and at St. Joseph’s in Delphi.  From 1971-1984 Sister Helen taught at several Montessori Schools in Milwaukee, WI, Kokomo, IN, and Crawfordsville, IN.  


Helen was graced with a sabbatical in Natick, Massachusetts in 1972. She described it as a “journey of the heart”. She put in writing some learnings from that time and said she experienced “the darkness of finding myself lacking and the wonder of getting to know myself better, and eager to find joy in being me.”


She learned the art of massage and used it in a variety of settings. She became the Tipton Motherhouse Coordinator, in which capacity she served diligently for 17 years. During that period of time, Helen was elected to the Tipton Leadership Council for four years. One of her joys was having her 99 year old dad and his wife, Lillian live there as lay residents. Her dad remained until his death. Helen was a supportive presence to her step-mother until her death. 


The following was written by Helen: “These Things I have Loved In Life” – “I have cherished the tears of Dad when Mom and Mary died, the journey of leadership with Dorothy Gall, Rosie Coughlin and Wanda Wetli, the companionship of dear little Sr. Marguerite Wiley in her times of strength and weakness.” “I have known liberation through Anthony de Mello and Jim Dolan, knowing I am saved and in God’s awareness.” “These influences have shaped my life: time spent in formation, education and with people like George Boyle, Eileen Cantin, Friar Ed Mundweiller, OSF, our Sisters, especially the older ones, and my family.”  



May She Rest in Peace

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Rosary

Monday, April 22, 2024

Starts at 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Holy Family Chapel Nazareth Center

2929 Nazareth Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49048

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Service of Rememberance

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

10:00 - 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Holy Family Chapel Nazareth Center

2929 Nazareth Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49048

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Holy Family Chapel Nazareth Center

2929 Nazareth Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49048

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Starts at 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Gate of Heaven Cemetery

, Kalamazoo, MI 49048

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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