Sister Helen Doychak, OP (Sister John Helene) of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, died on June 5, 2019 at Calvary Hospital, Bronx, New York. She was 88 years old.
The daughter of the late John Stephen and Helen Jernack Doychak, she was born March 6, 1931 in Clifton, New Jersey.
Sister Helen entered the novitiate of the Dominican Sisters of Newburgh, New York in October 1948, made her First Profession in June 1950, and Final Profession in August 1953. Sister Helen earned her BS in Biology and her MSS in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics from Villanova University.
Sister Helen taught at the elementary level at Our Lady of Victory School in Mt Vernon, NY; Sacred Heart School in Camden, NJ and Our Lady of Lourdes School in Paterson, NJ. She moved to secondary education and taught science at St. Mary High School, Paterson, NJ; Pope Pius XII High School, Passaic, NJ and at Cathedral Preparatory Seminary in New York City.
In 1986, Sr. Helen received a Professional Diploma in Administration and Supervision from Fordham University. She served as assistant principal at St. Mary’s High School in Greenwich Ct and principal at St. Augustine School in New City, NY. She was district superintendent with the Department of Education in the Archdiocese of New York from 2000 to 2008. In addition, Sister Helen was involved with the Family Life Bureau Drug Program in the Paterson Diocese and she was a member of the TEC team (Teens Encounter Christ) in the Archdiocese of New York for eight years. Sister was also a team member for planning the program, “Women Bearing Gifts,” for her congregation.
Sister Helen was recognized as Biology Teacher of the Year by the Theobald Smith Society and she received a National Science Foundation Grant. After retiring from her position as District Superintendent in the Archdiocese of New York, Sister Helen continued her ministry in education by volunteering at St. Peter’s in Haverstraw and St. Augustine’s in New City and in the enrichment program at St. Paul’s in Valley Cottage, New York. Besides working with children, Sister also found time to volunteer as an ESL instructor at the Mariandale Center in Ossining, New York. Finally, in 2018, Sister Helen moved to Assisted Living at the Wartburg in Mount Vernon, New York.
Sister Helen is predeceased by her sister Margaret Arvay. She is survived by her three nieces and great nieces and nephews.
The Wake and Funeral will all take place on Thursday June 13, 2019 at the Chapel of the Most Holy Rosary in the Dominican Center located on the grounds of Mount Saint Mary College. The wake begins at 9:15am followed by a Wake Service at 10:15am. The Mass of Christian burial is at 11am. Burial will follow immediately at the Dominican Sisters of Hope Cemetery also located on the grounds of Mount Saint Mary College.
Donations in Sister’s memory can be made to the Dominican Sisters of Hope Development Office located at 299 North Highland Avenue, Ossining, New York 10562.
Arrangements are under the direction of Brooks Funeral Home, Newburgh, New York.