Sister Helen Ann Gaidos, OSF (formerly Sister John Andre), 91, died in Assisi House in Aston, Pa., on Saturday, October 8. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 73 years.
Sister Helen was born in Sheridan, Lebanon County, and was a member of St. Gertrude Parish (now St. Cecilia’s) and a graduate of Lebanon Catholic High School. She entered the congregation in 1947 and professed her first vows in 1949. She earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Northeastern University and master’s in hospital and health administration from Xavier University. She ministered primarily in healthcare and parish ministry.
Sister Helen ministered for 15 years in the Diocese of Allentown, where she first taught at Sacred Heart School in Allentown and later served as the supervisor of radiology at St. Joseph Hospital in Reading. She also served in hospitals in the Dioceses of Trenton and Wilmington, where she was a radiology technician and professor and director of radiology.
In the Diocese of Harrisburg, Sister Helen spent two years as a student at St. Joseph Hospital in the early years but later returned to the Diocese as the director of religious education at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Cornwall. She also served as a volunteer in parish ministry at both St. Benedict Parish in Lebanon and St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Annville.
On the west coast, Sister Helen spent 16 years at St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton in the Diocese of Baker, where she served as the hospital’s CEO and president. She also ministered for 18 years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in parish ministry and local house ministry. In 2019, she moved to Assisi House in Aston, where she served in prayer and hospitality until her death.
All services will be held in Assisi House on Tuesday, October 18 and will be livestreamed. A Christian Wake Service will be held at 9:30 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Aston. Donations in her name can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.