Sister Helen Louise Schmitz, OSU

Sr. Helen Louise Schmitz, OSU

May 26, 1919 – November 13, 2017

Sister Helen Louise Schmitz, OSU, formerly known as Mother Mary Julian, died peacefully Nov. 13, 2017, at Loretto Home in Springfield, Illinois. She was 98.

The daughter of Frederick William and Elsie Louise Boehm Schmitz, Sister Helen Louise was born in Glendale, Missouri, on May 26, 1919. She entered the Ursuline sisters in 1939 and professed her vows on July 16, 1941.

She received a bachelor’s degree in music from Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri, and a master’s degree in music education from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. She also received a Choirmaster Certificate from the Gregorian Institute of America.

Sister Helen Louise taught organ, piano, clarinet, violin and guitar. She was church organist and director of children’s mixed choirs, boys’ choir and adult choirs. She taught in grade schools and high schools in Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana and Minnesota. She also taught at Dominican College in New Orleans and Springfield College in Springfield. She was a member of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission in the diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

In addition to teaching on all grade levels and playing five musical instruments, she was gifted in music and art. She composed a Mass in honor of St. Patrick in 1994. Her preferred medium in art was design and sketching in pen and ink. She did tatting on cards/stationery, embroidered, knitted, created her own designs on plastic canvas, made church banners and sewed much of her own clothing.

After retiring from teaching, she worked at Cathedral Parish in Springfield for 18 years, updating the parish census and other parish records as well as recording all new parishioners, baptisms, address changes and deaths.

In 2005 she became a resident of Loretto Home, Assisted Living, at the Franciscan Motherhouse. She continued working at the Cathedral, enjoyed various craft work, read books and cheered for the St. Louis Cardinals and Blues on TV.