Mother Helena Grants

For Holy Union Sisters Ministries

In 2003 the Holy Union Sisters in the United States created the Mother Helena Fund to help meet the ministry needs in some under-funded ministries. The Fund was named to honor Mother Helena Daumerie, who in 1886 led the first group of Holy Union Sisters from Europe to the United States. As an immigrant herself, she truly understood the challenges that newcomers faced day after day. Mother Helena encouraged our early Sisters to respond to the needs of immigrant families and of the poor in all the schools and neighborhoods in which our Sisters served.

Our heritage is to continue her work of compassion and outreach to people in need in our own time through the resources of the Mother Helena Fund.

In 2021 we were pleased to able to offer funding to wide variety of works.  We’ve grouped these into three categories:  Ministry; Group; and Partnerships.  Below are some details on the nature of the work we are supporting this year.

Sr. Patricia Griffith —  Our funding allows the continuation of the STEAM program which provides materials for learning activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math for the students of Holy Angels Regional School in Patchogue, NY (see image above).

Sr. Una Davey – Our support continues to help her ministry with immigrants in the South East U.S.  These people have need of such basics as food and clothing, as well as medical needs, housing, transportation, utility bills, etc.

Sr. Marie Baldi— Together we are helping to improve the technology needs at the Our Lady of Lourdes School, Taunton, MA.   Our support helps provide laptop computers and cameras so necessary to meet the needs of virtual teaching.

Sr. Eileen Davey — Her efforts continue the Nutrition Center in the very poor parish of Port au Prince, Haiti.   This center has been providing meals to both children and staff for 21 years.  It has been well organized and monitored providing regular meals to poor children which helps to assure their continuation in school.

Sr. Mary Lou Simcoe—  We’re pleased to support the training program for poor women in Tanzania. This program provides for the management and care of livestock (cows & chickens) for the people of two villages. It works in conjunction with the Caritas Dar es Salaam Office, Tanzania.  Christian Shembilu, the Director of Caritas in the Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam who has been the overseer of this project has now retired.  He has been replaced by Gladys Gadi Oning’o, the Caritas DSM GAD Coordinator.  She comes to this position with much experience in such areas as community socio-economic development, gender equality, women empowerment, human rights, adult education and income generating projects.  The future of this project looks stable, and will continue to meet some of the needs of the poor of that area.

Sr. Roberta Desjardins—  Our funding is being sent to the Sisters of the Holy Family in Bafoussam, Cameroon.  This grant is the second of three years of financial help that our Province is giving to these Sisters who are so much a part of the history of Holy Union in Cameroon.  Their accountability report is very impressive, not only showing the invoices of their expenditures but enhancing their report with several pictures: showing children sitting in classrooms at desks made locally, of a well that we helped to have built to provide clean drinking water, of planting 100 avocado saplings, and of providing materials to help combat the pandemic of Covid 19: hand gels, “nose-pads”, buckets, and bars of soap.  The effects of our first grant, the Sisters estimate, are benefitting approximately. 6,000 people!  Sisters from the US Province are continuing to minister in Cameroon, even though we may not be there in person!

For more information and guidelines for application for a Mother Helena Grant please click here.  BROCHURE

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