Sister Sylvia Bielen, OP (formerly Sister Theresa Clare) of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, Ossining, New York, died October 26, 2022, at St. Catherine of Siena Convent in Caldwell, NJ. She was 97 years of age.
The daughter of the late Albert and Winifred Bulvanoski Bielen, she was born August 18, 1925, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
Sister Sylvia entered the novitiate of the Dominican Sisters of Newburgh on September 8, 1945, made her First Profession June 25, 1947, and Final Profession August 26, 1950.
Sister Sylvia earned her BS in Education from Seton Hall University, an MA in Art from the University of Notre Dame, and an MFA in Design from George Washington University in DC. Her love of music brought her to join the singers in the Greater Newburgh Symphony Chorale.
Sister Sylvia was an elementary teacher at Sacred Heart School in Camden, NJ (1947-55) and at Bishop Dunn Memorial School in Newburgh NY (1955-63). She taught art classes at Gloucester Catholic High School in Gloucester, NJ (1963-68), at Pope Pius XII Regional High School in Passaic, NJ (1968-75). Sister Sylvia was a professor in the art department at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY for over 30 years. She gave lectures and workshops in spirituality and art at The Center at Mariandale in Ossining NY, Wisdom House in Litchfield CT, Linwood Spirituality Center in Rhinebeck, NY, and the Desmond Campus Extension in Newburgh.
She spent four summers in Mississippi conducting art workshops for resident teenagers. After retiring to Asbury Towers, Asbury Park, NJ, she offered art classes to the residents there.
For personal spiritual growth, she attended a weekly spiritual conference at the Stella Maris Retreat Center in Long Branch, NJ. In her spare time, she enjoyed creating unique greeting cards, reading, sewing, simple quilting, cooking, studying Spanish, and doing water aerobics. Her greatest pleasure was watching chefs on TV and experimenting in her galley kitchen.
Sister Sylvia is survived by her Dominican Sisters of Hope and nephews Christopher (Elena) and Daniel (Maria) and niece Maria Bachman and grandnephews and grandnieces. She is predeceased by her brothers, Msgr. Stephen and Albert and her sisters Clara Palmer, Alberta Bachman, and Martha Bielen.
A celebration of Sister Sylvia’s life will take place on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, at the Dominican Center, in the Chapel of the Most Holy Rosary, at Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY. The viewing will take place starting at 9 a.m. followed by a wake service at 10:15 a.m., and Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m.
Immediately following the liturgy, Sister will be buried in the Dominican Sisters of Hope Cemetery on the grounds of Mount Saint Mary College.
Donations in Sister’s memory can be made to the Dominican Sisters of Hope Development Office, 299 North Highland Ave, Ossining, NY 10562.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Brooks Funeral Home, Newburgh, NY.