Sister Helene Marie
July 2, 2022
Sister Helene Marie ND 4627 PDF Download
(formerly Sister Mary Therese Martin)
Immaculate Conception Province, USA
Date and Place of Birth: August 11, 1933 Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession: August 16, 1955 Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death: July 2, 2022 Health Care Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Burial: July 13, 2022 Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon, Ohio
Helene characterized her early years as “simple, carefree days wrapped in a world of beauty.” As the only child of John and Anna (Custer) Gregos, Helene enjoyed and learned from the playfulness of her father and the organizational skills of her mother. Her Slovak heritage and the deep faith of her parents were cherished throughout life. Even at an early age she was eager to know more about God and his great goodness and love. She selected Notre Dame Academy in Cleveland for high school and was grateful for both the academic and spiritual growth she experienced and the bonds she formed with the Sisters. After graduation, Helene entered nursing school at St. John Hospital in Cleveland but, after one year, was convinced of God’s call to religious life. She became a postualnt on September 8, 1952. At investment she received the name Sister Mary Therese Martin.
Sister Helene Marie was a true scholar and Notre Dame educator. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from St. John College in Cleveland. For six years she taught in parish elementary schools and then was missioned to Julie Billiart School in Lyndhurst (a school focused on students with special learning needs). She was a conscientious, honest and straightforward teacher who strove to meet the individual needs of her students. Sister Helene Marie was passionate about ministering to students “who learned differently from the way most educators teach.”
Sister continued her studies and received a master’s degree in special education from Cardinal Stritch College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and completed the doctoral program in special education at the University of Cincinnati in 1979. Her ministry in education spanned more than sixty years, thirty-seven at Notre Dame College of Ohio in South Euclid. Here she developed new programs and trained and supervised special education teachers at the graduate and undergraduate levels. The organizational skills she practiced and taught were invaluable. She worked tirelessly to strengthen future educators through classes, talks and workshops; she published articles, served on boards and committees and consulted with national groups. In 1978, Sister was honored as Ohio Special Educator of the Year. Her professional expertise was respected and appreciated.
After she retired from the College in 1999, Sister Helene Marie continued her ministry as tutor at Notre Dame Skills Lab. Always aware of the needs of the students, and genuinely interested in each one, she was committed to finding the best ways to help them learn. She responded to their strengths and challenges. In 2007 as a participant in the ND Education Conference in Brazil, Sister spoke about and praised her “Wisdom Women,” mentors who taught her how to teach the Notre Dame way and to grow her prayer life.
As her physical strength began to decline, Sister Helene Marie moved to the Chardon Health Care Center in 2019. Her presence – grateful and gentle, loving and kind – endeared her to everyone. We thank God for the life and ministry of this prayerful woman of wisdom.