Obituaries, Week of Mar. 11, 2023

Sister Helen Lauria passed away on Feb. 16 at age 92. On Feb. 23, Sister Helen’s Sisters of Saint Joseph family, her nieces, extended family, and friends gathered in Maria Regina Chapel to celebrate her life. The Liturgy was presided over by Father Thomas Poth. 

Growing up in Corona, Helen attended Our Lady of Sorrows Elementary School and Saint Joseph’s Juniorate. 

On Sept. 8, 1949, she entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Brentwood, and the following spring received her religious habit and the name Sister Regina Elizabeth. For more than 50 years, Sister Helen taught grades 1 through 5 at St. Francis de Sales, St. Rose of Lima, St. Philip Neri, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Vincent de Paul, Holy Cross, and St. Francis of Assisi, and then taught mathematics at St. Mary Gate of Heaven. 

In 2002, leaving her formal teaching behind, Sister Helen entered wholeheartedly into parish life at Holy Family in Flushing, where she continued to share her lifelong devotion to the Eucharist and to Saint Joseph. 

Her gentle countenance, ready smile, and genuine concern for each person whom she encountered endeared her to all. 

Sister Helen was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Brentwood. 

Sister Barbara Anne Shea, OP (Sister M. John Brendan), died on Feb. 23 at age 91. She had served the people of God as a Sister of St. Dominic of Amityville for more than 72 years. 

Sister Barbara met the Sisters of St. Dominic as a student at St. Bartholomew School and at Bishop McDonnell Diocesan High School. Barbara felt the call to religious life during her high school years. She entered the Sisters of St. Dominic in Amityville on September 8, 1950. 

She was invested with the Dominican habit on August 4, 1951, and was given the religious name Sister John Brendan. She was a member of the “Madonna Lily” set. On August 6, 1952, she pronounced her First Vows. Sister John Brendan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York, and a Masters in Religious Education from the Institute of Pastoral Ministry, Douglaston, New York. 

In September 1952, she was sent forth to teach at Curé of Ars School in Merrick, New York. Her other teaching assignments included St. Frances de Chantal School in Brooklyn, Long Beach Catholic School, and St. Hugh of Lincoln School in Huntington Station. After 19 years in ministry as a teacher, Sister Barbara embraced the ministry of Religious Education Director at St. Mary of the Isle in Long Beach. Two years later, she was called to serve as Religious Education Director at Holy Name of Mary P arish in Valley Stream, a position she held for 30 years. Barbara continued to serve the parish as a volunteer for an additional eight years. She moved to Queen of the Rosary Motherhouse in 2010. 

Sister Barbara was welcomed into paradise by her loving parents, Walter and Nora, her precious brother Wally, and her close friend S. Elizabeth Marie Lynch, CSJ. 

The wake and funeral for Sister Barbara Anne Shea were held in St. Albert Chapel in Queen of the Rosary Motherhouse in Amityville on Feb. 28, followed by the Mass of Christian Burial and Interment in the sisters’ cemetery.

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