Sister Francis Helen Haran
1934 – 2020
Born: 28th March 1934
Entered Religious Life: 13th October 1952
Died: 23rd October 2020
Mary Bernadette Haran, daughter of Frank Haran and Attracta Scully was born in Carnagapple, Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo on 28th March 1934. She had two brothers Seamus and Colin both of whom were Christian Brothers, and five sisters one of whom is a Poor Clare Sister in their Monastery in Simmonscourt, Donnybrook.
She entered the Religious Sisters of Charity in Milltown on 13th October, 1952 and was received into the Novitiate on 28th April 1953 receiving the name Sr. Francis Helen. She was professed on 2nd May 1955.
Helen studied in Carysfort Teacher Training College and qualified in 1958. Teaching was her ministry right through her religious life beginning in Waterford and Mountjoy Street. Because of her ability with those less able she completed a Diploma for teachers of Mentally and Physically Handicapped Children in St. Patrick’s Drumcondra. She had a particular gift for teaching younger children and loved preparing them for First Holy Communion. She served as Principal in Baldoyle and Crumlin Schools between 1963 and 1997. She then took a sabbatical during which she visited the Holy Land, an experience she found extremely fulfilling. Following her sabbatical, she resumed remedial teaching in Clonmel and remained there until 2013 when she retired to Lakelands community due to ill health. When needing further care she was missioned to St. Monica’s Nursing Home where she was very happy. She had a beautiful smile and welcome for all who visited her.
Sr. Francis Helen was very close to her family and loved them dearly. While in Lakelands she looked forward to visiting her sister, Sr. Brigid in the Poor Clare Monastery where the family gathered together each month and celebrated together.
Due to the closure of St. Monica’s Nursing Home in July 2020 Sister moved to St. Gabriel’s Nursing Home, Raheny. Following a short illness, she died peacefully on Friday 23rd October 2020.
Sister Helen’s funeral Mass was celebrated by her cousin Fr. Liam Murtagh in Star of the Sea Church, Sandymount on 26th October. Due to Covid-19 restrictions the number attending was restricted but the Mass was relayed via webcam. Sr. Francis Helen is buried in the community cemetery in Donnybrook where many sisters had gathered to receive her remains for burial and also to meet her family. May she rest in peace.