Sister Helen Gertrude, is turning 100 today, and she celebrated her birthday in a rather unusual way, she connected with her Sisters in India via Skype. The Sisters and members of Leadership were thrilled to connect with her. Each person gave her a personal greeting and then the group broke into song. They sang “Happy Birthday” both in English and in Hindi. Sister Helen Gertrude was also able to speak with one of our pioneers in India, Sister Ann Roberta Powers. She was one of six SCNs who travelled to India six decades ago to open a clinic. Sister Ann Roberta, who is in her 80s, wished Sister Helen Gertrude a happy birthday and spoke of how things had changed since 2005 when she last saw Sister Helen Gertrude in person. Sister Ann Roberta shared that she had “grown old” in the last years. Sister Helen Gertrude responded with a laugh, “join the club.”

It is interesting to note how dramatically the Congregation has changed over the many years Sister Helen Gertrude has been an SCN. For example, the Congregation is now a global Congregation with Sisters in India, Nepal, Africa, and Central America. A make up that Sister Helen Gertrude could never have dreamed up in her early days as a Sister. And to think that today she connected with her Sisters in India and received greetings from around the world.

Three Sisters of Charity of Nazareth turn 100 this year. SCN Ruth Marie celebrated her birthday in January. Sister Helen Gertrude is marking her 100th birthday in February and in March, Sister Mary Justin will turn 100. We will share more about these remarkable Sisters in a future story. According to leadership, this may be the first time in history that three SCNs have turned 100 in the same year.

Below are pictures of Sister Helen Gertrude connecting with SCNs in India via Skype.