Sr. Helen Dillon, RSM

Obituary of Sr. Helen M. Dillon, RSM

Dillon RSM, Sister Mary Helen (Patricia Ann Dillon) died at the Convent of Mercy, Albany, on Sunday, January 31, 2021. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, she was the daughter of the late William H. Dillon and Helen F. Duffy Dillon. She entered the Sisters of the Presentation in July, 1958, and transferred to the Sisters of Mercy in 1973, a total of 62 years in the religious community. Sister Helen earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Saint Rose, Albany. She taught at St. Ambrose School, Latham; St. Paul’s School, Schenectady; and Sacred Heart School, North Albany. She served as both principal and teacher at Saint Joseph’s Academy, Albany. Teaching at St. Colman’s Home in Watervliet was a ministry especially dear to Helen’s heart. In addition to teaching, she directed a Halfway House for Girls who were in transition from St. Colman’s. For many years, Sister Helen focused her energy on Outreach and Social Service programs, serving as Coordinator of Christian Service Outreach at Sacred Heart Parish, North Albany; Director of Christian Service and Pastoral Care at St. Helen’s Parish, Schenectady; Administrator of all Social Service Programs at Saint John’s-St. Ann’s Parish, Albany; and Senior Therapist at SPARC, Albany. She also served on the Leadership Team of the Sisters of Mercy. Sister Helen was loving and non-judgmental in her ministry to people who lived on the margins of society. She “looked up to the downtrodden”, offering encouragement and hope to those in need while at the same time challenging them to move beyond where they were. She was direct and honest in her communication, leaving no doubt where she stood but always remaining open to the views of others. A compassionate listener, Sister Helen enabled those to whom she ministered to name and face their challenges; then she walked with them on their path to healing. She was an ever-present face at the welcome tables at St. John’s - St. Ann’s Parish, Albany, and Sacred Heart Parish, North Albany. Helen went out of her way to provide the special touches that made for a comfortable and homey experience for those who were guests at the table. Her gracious service to the poor flowed freely from her relationship with God in prayer. Sister Helen loved her family and was very proud of her Irish heritage. In addition to her parents, Sister Helen was predeceased by five of her siblings: Barbara Ann Miller (the late William), Mary Elizabeth Tracey (the late Bill), William H. Dillon Jr. (the late Helen), Kevin Michael Dillon Sr., and, in June of 2020, Sister Stella Dillon RSM. She is remembered as a loving sister and aunt by those who survive her: her sister, Evelyn Cerrato (Felix J. Cerrato Jr.); many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, great grandnieces and great grandnephews; and by her religious community, the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Associates. A wake will be held at the W.J. Lyons, Jr. Funeral Home, 1700 Washington Avenue, Rensselaer, on Friday, February 5, beginning at 4:00 p.m. and concluding with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. The Liturgy of Christian Death and Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, February 6, at 11:00 a.m. at Mater Christi Church, Albany. Masks must be worn and social distancing observed. Burial will follow in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, East Greenbush. Contributions may be made in Sister Helen’s memory to the Sisters of Mercy, 634 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, New York 12208.
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Friday
5
February

Visitation

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, February 5, 2021
W.J. Lyons Jr. Funeral Home Inc.
1700 Washington Ave.
Rensselaer, New York, United States
518-286-3400
Visitation
Saturday
6
February

Funeral Mass

11:00 am - 11:45 am
Saturday, February 6, 2021
Mater Christi Church
40 Hopewell Street
Albany, New York, United States
Funeral Mass
Saturday
6
February

Interment

12:00 pm
Saturday, February 6, 2021
Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
Third Avenue Ext.
Rensselaer, New York, United States
Interment
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