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Sr. Francis Catherine (Helen) Battle, CSJ

June 28, 1929 - January 11, 2020
Nazareth, MI



Thursday, January 16, 2020
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Holy Family Chapel
2929 Nazareth
Kalamazoo, MI 49048
(269) 381-6290

Vigil Service at 7PM

Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, January 17, 2020
10:30 AM EST
Holy Family Chapel
2929 Nazareth Rd.
Kalamazoo, MI 49048
(269) 381-6290


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Sisters of St. Joseph
2929 Nazareth Rd.
Kalamazoo, MI 49048
(269) 381-6290


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Helen Battle was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 28, 1929, the daughter of John Francis and Catherine (Connolly) Battle. She was a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Detroit, Michigan at the time of her entrance into the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth on September 8, 1947. Helen received the name Sister Francis Catherine at her reception on July 2, 1948 and later returned to the use of her baptismal name. She pronounced first vows on July 2, 1950 and final vows on July 2, 1953.

Sister Helen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Nazareth College and pursued classes in Counseling at the University of Dayton. She taught in schools of the Congregation including St. Agnes School in Flint and Nazareth Academy. She also served as principal of St. Dennis School in Royal Oak, MI. When the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth opened a foreign mission in Peru, Sister Helen was among the first three sisters to be assigned there. Her dream for missionary ministry in a foreign country became a reality as she studied the language and culture of the Hispanic people and ministered for nineteen years to a people she dearly loved. She returned to Nazareth in 1983 when she was elected to the SSJ Leadership Team for six years and then as President of the Congregation for another six-year term. In 1995 Sister Helen became a Pastoral Associate at St. Bartholomew Parish in Newaygo, MI. In 1997 she returned to Nazareth as co-administrator of Nazareth Center Fontbonne. When she retired in 2001, she devoted herself to volunteer work at Borgess Medical Center.

Sister Helen was gifted with a joyful personality. She had a great sense of humor and her laughter brought joy to those around her. Sister Helen enjoyed the simple things that life had to offer. She had few wants and needs and her simplicity was an inspiration to all with whom she lived and worked. Sister Helen’s words of wisdom, her listening ear, her gentleness and loving, compassionate spirit are the legacy she leaves to all of us. She was most grateful to her family, CSJ community and friends for their love and support over the years. May Sister Helen now enjoy a place of light, happiness and peace in God’s kingdom of glory forever.

May She Rest In Peace!