Sister Helen Dolores Hart
Sister Helen Dolores Hart
Sister Helen Dolores Hart, CSJ, died on July 30 at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. Sister Helen, 77, and had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 58 years. 

A Syracuse native, Sister Helen was the daughter of Helen Mertz and Cornelius Hart. She was the youngest of three children, along with older brothers, Neil and Bill. Sister Helen was an eighth-grade graduate of St. Brigid’s School before graduating from St. Lucy’s Academy. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in September 1963, professing final vows in 1971. 

Sister Helen’s ministry was primarily in the Diocese of Syracuse, where she served as teacher and principal in numerous schools, always with energy and creativity. The 1980s were a time of declining enrollment in Catholic schools, but Sister Helen succeeded in stabilizing and increasing enrollment. She was then tapped to become Director of Development for Catholic Schools, a position she held for four years. During her early years, Sister Helen also completed her bachelor’s degree from The College of Saint Rose and her master’s from SUNY Binghamton.

In 2005, a chance encounter brought Sister Helen to Central New York Services in Syracuse, an organization committed to support and advocacy for those in need. As quality improvement specialist, Sister Helen spent the next 12 years reaching out to the community, using her experience, and moving into the hearts of countless grateful individuals. She made friends everywhere; a colleague described her as “a woman for all seasons.” 

Sister Helen is survived by her two brothers and many loving cousins, nieces, nephews and close friends. She will be dearly missed by her devoted friends including the Sisters of St. Joseph. A Mass of Christian Burial was held Aug. 8 at St. Joseph’s Church in Camillus. Burial services were held at the Sisters of St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Latham on Aug. 9.

Contributions in Sister Helen’s memory may be made to the Office of Mission Advancement, St. Joseph’s Provincial House, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, N.Y., 12110.