Sister Mary Helen Fuhrmann, 82, died on Monday, December 4, 2017, at Harris Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Sister Mary Helen was born on February 4, 1935, to Henry N. Fuhrmann and Helena "Lena" Christine Waltershcheid Fuhrmann in Myra, Texas. Her name at the time was Maria Agatha. She was educated by the Sisters of Divine Providence in Lindsay, Texas, and entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur on September 8, 1956. Sister Mary Helen received her religious habit and name at Our Lady of Victory Convent in Ft. Worth on August, 15, 1957, made her first vows on August 15, 1959 and her final vows on August 15, 1965.
Sister earned her B.A. degree in Elementary Education at the University of Dallas, her Master of Arts degree in education at Texas Women's University in Denton and a Certificate of Spiritual Direction from Mercy Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Sister Mary Helen began her professional career teachings at St. Mary's School in Fort Worth for two years, after which she went to St Xavier Academy in Denison for three years. For the following six years, Sister taught at St. Mary's School in Sherman- the last two of those years serving also as Principal. From there Sister moved to Wichita Falls where she was Principal for nine years at Our Lady queen of Peace School, whose name changed to Notre Dame elementary School in 1976. Then Sister moved to Fort Worth where she served as Principal of St. Peter's School for ten years. After completing thirty years in teaching and administration, Sister Mary Helen readied herself for whatever would be asked of her.
Sister Mary Helen participated in a Sabbatical semester in Human Development at Sangre de Cristo in Santa Fe, New Mexico and then attended Notre Dame University at the Center for Continuing Formation in Ministry. The following year, Sister became the Pastoral Associate at St. Mary's Parish in Gainesville, Texas where she remained for 10 years. Well prepared, Sister became the Director of Religious Education, Director of the RCIA and the Liturgy Coordinator. Sister's pastoral work brought her into contact with many persons who needed assistance in presenting marriage cases for annulment. Willingly, Sister trained as and Advocate for the Marriage Tribunal and soon found that to be major part of her ministry. Because numerous pastors came and went during her time at St. Mary's, Sister was able to provide a sense of continuity in the parish she loved so much.
Beginning in 1990, Sister served many years on the Provincial Council, sometimes as a Provincial Councilor, and sometimes also as Provincial Secretary. Altogether, she worked in these administrative positions for some 13 years.
Reluctant to leave pastoral work, Sister Mary Helen graciously agreed in 2011 to serve as Coordinator at OLV Retirement Center where she exemplified the St. Mary charism of hospitality. In addition to her regular duties, Sister Mary Helen had become an expert on the computer, producing artistic greeting cards for birthdays and other festive occasions.
A Vigil service was held on Sunday, December 10 at Thompson's Harveson & Cole Funeral Home in Ft. Worth. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, December 11 at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Ft. Worth. The mass was celebrated by Bishop Michael Olsen with numerous diocesan priests co-celebrating including Fr. Ken Robinson, Fr. Phil Petta, and Deacon Gilasio Garcia. One of the mass servers was Phillip Endres (great nephew). The first reading was done by John Endres (nephew) and the second reading was done by Sister Charles Marie Serafina. Gift bearers were Karla Havran, Jennifer Seed, Angela Wright and Paula Young (nieces). Pall bearers were John Endres, Howard Endres, Stephen Endres, Ashley Fuhrmann, Nicholas Fuhrmann, Richard Fuhrmann (nephews). The beautiful music was provided by Sister Jane Conway on the piano and the choir from the convent. Diane Murray was the Cantor for the services.
Interment was in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
Sister Mary Helen is survived by her sister Eileen Endres, brother Michael Fuhrmann and wife Carol, sister in law Sandra Fuhrmann, brother Jerome Fuhrmann, brother Francis Fuhrmann and wife Cathie and brother in law Cletus Bauer, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Anita Bauer and brother Leon Fuhrmann.
Gifts in her memory may given to Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, 909 W. Shaw St., Ft. Worth, Texas, 76110.
Published on December 16, 2017